‘He told me natural to make mistakes and put it into perspective’ says Andreas Christensen after speaking to John Terry

Andreas Christensen has had a tough few weeks after defensive errors against both Manchester clubs and Barcelona.

It has been a breakthrough season for the young Danish international, having established himself in Antonio Conte’s first choice XI ahead of the likes of David Luiz.

Christensen spent two years out on loan with the Bundesliga side Borussia Mönchengladbach and since returning has been impressive at centre-back, demonstrating calm authority, aerial dominance and the ability to play the ball out from the back.

Yet, as happens to many young defenders who are encouraged to play out from the back, a dip in form has been apparent in the last month or so and the high-profile errors have certainly reminded Chelsea fans, and the media, that Christensen is only 21 years old.

Many people felt that the departure of John Terry was going be felt massively at Stamford Bridge, not so much on the pitch but for his experience around the training ground. Having seen a potential mentor move on to Aston Villa, Christensen felt compelled to contact the former Chelsea captain to seek his advice on how to get back on track.

Speaking to Eurosport in Denmark, Christensen said;

“I try to keep things inside the club, not bringing anything home with me. My team-mates have seen all my other performances, so they know that these mistakes aren’t typical for me. I have had a smaller talk with John Terry: he has also experienced setbacks and it is always nice to talk to someone watching it from the outside and to learn that they have experienced the same.

He told me that it is natural to make mistakes and he tried to put it in perspective for me saying that, if a forward misses a chance, he can make it good again by scoring when he gets the next opportunity. But we can’t change a goal scored against us, so when we make mistakes it is more crucial and it is easy for people to point fingers. I have realised it, looked at it and now I have moved on.

It has been difficult. You are not doubting yourself, but you might get a bit more cautious in what you do, and that can make things even worse. So it is difficult to move on. I’ve been annoyed at myself, and that is difficult to get rid of – especially when there is a week between the matches, because then you have a whole week to think about it. You just want to move on to the next match so that you can play a match without mistakes. I can’t avoid making mistakes but in some games the mistakes have been decisive, so now I am just waiting for the next games to come, so I can prove that the mistakes aren’t typical for me.”

The pep-talk certainly seemed to have worked at the weekend, as Christensen put in a solid performance against Leicester City in the FA Cup Quarter Final, helping the side win and book a date with Southampton at Wembley.

However, Christensen was concerned that he may have not even been selected for the match;

“I thought I might be out of the next match [after the errors] but I try to tell myself that before these matches I have played all the other ones almost with no mistakes at all. I hope that is the reason I get to start, because the coach knows he can trust me, I haven’t made any mistakes, but been very solid for a long period. I am focusing on all the good games I have played this season.”

With Chelsea’s loan system heavily criticised in football circles, it is vital that a player like Christensen goes on to cement a long-term place in the Chelsea first team. This alone will give hope to others away from Stamford Bridge currently that they too have a future at Chelsea FC.