Chalobah: “I Left It All Out There”
Watch Nathaniel Chalobah's post-match interview above, or read on for his thoughts below.
If ever there was a day for mixed emotions it was today for Nathaniel Chalobah, who returned to his boyhood club to make his first league start in five months but ended up on the losing side.
The 24-year-old, who spent more than a decade rising through the ranks at Chelsea, was handed just his third league start of the campaign in place of the injured Étienne Capoue but left Stamford Bridge feeling the Hornets deserved more than their 3-0 loss.
“It was my first time coming back here since I left so it was a good moment for me in a way but obviously the result wasn’t what we could’ve got today and that’s more important than me coming back,” Chalobah said.
“It felt like we played very well in the first half and a bit of a lack of concentration killed the game for us. It’s a lesson learned for this season, we have to be very ruthless in both boxes.
“We played some good stuff, we had a game-plan and we executed it very well and we were a bit unfortunate not to put some of those chances in.
“We’re disappointed. The mood in the changing room wasn’t great but we have to dust ourselves off and go again.”
It was a useful hour or so for Chalobah, who has found game-time hard to come by in a Watford team who have been exceeding expectations all season.
“It’s been a very difficult year for me, coming in and out, but I just tried to give everything I can today,” said the England midfielder.
“I left it all out there and I blew up after about 50 minutes! It’s always difficult not playing games and that match fitness and sharpness is something you always lack when you don’t get that opportunity.
“But what can I do, the boys been flying this year and you’ve got to look at it that way and keep going.”
When you’ve got Étienne Capoue and Abdoulaye Doucouré performing as well as they have this term, it’s always going to be tricky finding a way into Javi Gracia’s team.
“Those two have been phenomenal this year and you’ve got to put your hands up at the end of the day,” he conceded.
“There’s a lot of competition for places and the boys that aren’t playing every week are there battling every week and trying to make it hard for them, and that’s helped them keep their levels high.
“It’s a negative that you’re not playing, but a positive that the team are doing well and those players are flying. At the end of the day the team is the most important thing.
“Individual disappointment is something you’ve got to put aside sometimes and show your frustration in other ways, by coming in every day and grafting and trying to do as best as we can.”