Chalobah: “Pearson Has Got Everyone Working Together”
Nathaniel Chalobah believes the team's recent upturn in form can be attributed to a morale boost and attitude change brought in by Nigel Pearson and his one-to-one approach.
“He’s come in first of all and changed the mood of the place,” said the midfielder. “He’s got everyone working together and individually he’s put his arm around certain players whose confidence might have been low or who might not have believed in themselves.
“He’s managed to be in control of that and switch the focus and responsibility on himself almost. I think that takes a lot of pressure off the players when a manager does that because his first thought is ‘I take the blame if anything happens and I want you to go out there and enjoy yourself first and do what you’re in the team for’.
“With that mentality we’ve just been going out there and trying to enjoy ourselves. We know we have a lot of work to do and we are still at a time in the season where we’ve had good results now but we know where we were two months ago. We just have to keep going with it really.”
Chalobah has been one of the main beneficiaries since Pearson's arrival, having featured in the last six games, starting four. However, he emphasised the focus is firmly on the team's performance and not on individuals.
“It’s been good, I’ve not tried to look too deeply into my personal performances,” he said. “When you’re at the bottom of the table and in a relegation battle, I think the team always has to come first and needs to come before yourself. Whether I’ve had good performances or bad performances, if you get the results, it’s something you forget about quite quickly.
“As a group of players we have now gelled together very well I think. Everyone’s realised we are in a situation. What’s more important is the team and now we are driving the best out of each other and everyone’s on the same page. In that sense, it’s beneficial for us as a group but also for the supporters, staff and everyone involved in this journey.”
The reverse fixture against Spurs played in October ended in disappointment, with the Golden Boys conceding an unfortunate late Dele Alli equaliser after a penalty appeal was turned down earlier in the game. The Hornets worked hard that day, and Chalobah says they will do so again.
“For me personally I’d like to win, and I’m sure that’s the same for everyone in the changing room,” he said. “In the manner that we drew the game last time, we’ll try our best to avoid that sort of feeling again when we walked back into the dressing room, because we had a lot of things going against us and we worked really hard that day.
“The working hard part of it is something we are going to have to replicate again. It’s going to be a tough game and we know that, but there are no easy games in the Premier League. Whether it’s a top six side or a bottom six side, it doesn’t really matter, we still have to go in there and try to get the three points.”