Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has sent a six-word rallying cry to his Blues compatriots who are stepping up for their Club World Cup preparations ahead of Wednesday’s opener against Al Hilal.
Rudiger, 28, featured in the tense 2-1 victory over Plymouth Argyle in the FA Cup before he and the Chelsea stars jetted off to Abu Dhabi on the same day ahead of Club World Cup opener.
“We had to accept that after the break we had, it was tough against an opponent who was very well organised,” Chelsea assistant coach Arno Michels said after the win.
“To play 120 minutes was not the target for today we have to say. We had a bit of little injuries, hopefully only little injuries. So we will see.
“It is not easy to come back after the break and play a game like this. Even if for me, for a long time, it was a good game.”
One major concern that came around from the fourth round FA Cup tie win was the triple injury blow sustained in the game with Mason Mount the main worry ahead of Wednesday’s semi-final.
Michels said on the Mount injury in his post-match press conference: “Hopefully not, we will see. He felt an injury in extra time with this shot on goal.
Only by this shot – it wasn’t a serious problem during the game – it was only when he had the shot he realised he had quick he felt pain and so we took him off.
One day into light training in the Blues’ training camp in the United Arab Emirates and three key figures were missing in the form of Reece James, Edouard Mendy and the aforementioned Mount.
However, the latter of the trio returned to light training on Monday in a positive step ahead of their game at the Mohammad Bin Zayed Stadium.
football.london revealed that the 23-year-old was initially put through his paces by Michels and Zsolt Low on Monday afternoon in Thomas Tuchel’s absence, with James and Mendy still the only players missing.
James was initially not expected to travel to Abu Dhabi, as Tuchel ruled out his presence ahead of the match against Plymouth.
James is completing his rehabilitation from a hamstring suffered against Brighton in December, and was included among the numbers to make the trip.
However, Chelsea have not included him in their official squad list that was submitted to FIFA on Monday morning.
Mendy, has been included in that list, and will join up after the squad having won the AFCON title with Senegal on Sunday.
Ahead of the club’s second attempt at world dominance in the club scene, Chelsea’s No.2 has sent Mount and co a rallying cry ahead of the teams efforts to make Saturday’s showpiece event with Brazilian side Palmeiras or Egyptian side Al Ahly a reality.
On his Twitter account @ToniRudiger, he tweeted: ‘Pumped up and ready to go! [followed by three emojis.]