Pulisic: Chelsea's character is going to be tested after dip in form
The Blues winger issued a rallying cry to his team-mates after defeat by West Ham made it back-to-back losses in the Premier League
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Christian Pulisic believes Chelsea’s downturn in results since the international break will prove to be a test of the team’s character.
Chelsea went into November’s international break on a six-game winning streak in the Premier League, but have struggled to get going again since the two-week recess.
League defeats by Manchester City and West Ham sandwiched a 2-2 draw at Valencia in the Champions League, and Pulisic has called on the Blues to show their mettle ahead of games against Aston Villa and Everton.
“Absolutely, tough times really test your character,” Pulisic said at Stamford Bridge after Saturday’s 1-0 loss to the Hammers. “Things aren’t going amazing, I would say this isn’t the worst thing so we just have to go on but now luckily in this league, we get another game midweek so we get a chance to redeem ourselves.
“It was a pretty crazy game midweek and then coming here we really wanted a good result, we came out with a lot of energy and did some things well but we just didn’t have that finishing touch. It felt like a little something was missing.
“In the season, that is what happens, there are ups and downs. We have had a few months now where people have said how well we’ve done and how everything has been going great, and I wish it would stay like that the whole year but it’s not the case, so now a couple of tougher results and we just have to go try and turn it around.”
Chelsea boast the second-best record away from home in the league this season, but have been unable to replicate that at Stamford Bridge and Pulisic thinks that Frank Lampard’s young team might feel under pressure in front of their own fans.
“We’ve wanted to do much better at home this season,” he added. “Our away form has been great but at times at home it has been tougher, we’ve had some good games but it is just about the fact that we want to do it in front of our fans as well.
“That is the thing you can’t [explain it] really. You’d think it would be the other way around. It is a bit strange. I guess I don’t know. Maybe it is just putting ourselves under a bit more pressure than we need to at home, who knows?
“We want to go out and get results wherever we play. We come out with the same energy and we hope that we can turn it around here.”
Chelsea were without their 11-goal striker Tammy Abraham against West Ham after he suffered an injury during the draw at Valencia.
His absence led to Olivier Giroud starting up front, while Pedro came in for Willian to freshen up the team. Pulisic says he maintains belief in the squad despite the duo struggling on their first starts in months.
“Of course, he [Abraham] has done well for us this season but we have other guys who can step up,” Pulisic continued. “Oli trains great and he’s a great player – he was a bit unfortunate so we’ll see.
“I mean we have different guys who can come in, we had the fresh guys come in. We have a full squad and a very fit squad so it shouldn’t be an issue.”
Wednesday’s game against Villa will see John Terry return to Stamford Bridge in his role as Dean Smith’s assistant, and Pulisic expects the former Chelsea captain to receive a great reception.
He said: “I would think so – he’s a legend here so that will be great for the club.”