Wednesday was a “special” night for Mason Mount as he was part of a Derby County performance “to be proud of” against his parent club, Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Despite a 3-2 defeat against the Premier League side to see them knocked out of the Carabao Cup at the Fourth Round, the Rams put on a confident and valiant display.
Four goals poured in inside the opening 22 minutes as the sides traded blows. Own goals from Derby were cancelled out by a glorious finish by Jack Marriott after Tom Huddlestone won the ball back in the middle of the park then Mount squared up for Martyn Waghorn to tap in the second.
What proved to be the winner for Chelsea came moments before the break when Cesc Fabregas fired from inside the area. The Rams relentlessly looked for the equaliser as Mount saw a shot deflected wide, Richard Keogh and Marriott had shots saved while David Nugent came agonisingly close when he struck the post in the dying minutes.
“It’s a performance we can be so proud of,” the 19-year-old told RamsTV following the game. “To come here and create so many chances against an unbeaten Chelsea side, a top, top side we can take so much from this.
“The own goals, they happen in football, you have setbacks. The team showed how we can come back from that. We go 1-0 down, we get back in to it. We go 2-1 down, we get back into it again.
“We have got that bounce back in us. I think the way we played after that, how we kept plugging away and making chances are what we can take away from this.
“The one off the post, if that could have just come back to one of our players, I was right there, and I thought it was going to come back to me, but it went straight back into the ‘keepers arms. Another night, that might have been a goal.”
Though Derby didn’t get the result, that didn’t take away from a special night for the young midfielder which was made even better by the support of the travelling fans.
As he played his first senior minutes at Stamford Bridge, Mount praised the sold out away section for their tremendous energy throughout the game that he said transferred to help them out on the pitch.
“It was an unbelievable experience for me,” Mount said.
“To come here in front of all the fans, all of the Derby fans were unbelievable tonight as they always are. They came here and supported us like the 12th man, they were unbelievable. I love the fans!
“It was a special night for me and ‘Fik’ [Fikayo Tomori], and obviously the gaffer and Jody too to come back here and play the way we played.”
Mount enjoyed the moment but explained that it is straight back to work as Derby switch their focus straight back to the Sky Bet Championship and the arrival of Birmingham City on the weekend.
He said the confidence and impressive performances the Rams have shown in recent weeks has got to be followed up at Pride Park Stadium.
“Now it’s back to the league. I think we have got to take the confidence we have been playing with into the next game and how well we played against Middlesbrough as well, even though we didn’t get the result we wanted.
“The confidence we have got building we need to take that into Birmingham now.”