Derby County manager Frank Lampard pressed Mason Mount’s international claims after his on-loan Chelsea midfielder ran the show in front of watching England manager Gareth Southgate in their 0-0 draw with Blackburn Rovers.
Mount hit the woodwork with a sumptuous free-kick and greatly impressed as the Rams failed to make the breakthrough against a dogged Rovers side.
Lampard was quick to praise the youngster’s quality and admitted he will be up to the task should Southgate come calling.
“Mason was fantastic, it is how he has been playing for us every game,” said Lampard. “His free-kick was top class and his general play was creative, and workrate and passing were excellent. There is more to come from him.
“I think Gareth would have been impressed. Talking about young English players playing week in, week out, Mason is doing incredibly well as is Jayden Bogle – his performance in the first half was incredible.
“Mason is a great example of the loan system. Chelsea have a got a great young talent and him coming here helps both them and us, and he can do anything he wants.
“That’s not to stay he will go in and be an England starter in their next game, as it’s Gareth Southgate’s choice, but whatever level you put him in, because of his quality, work ethic and mentality, he will do anything he wants to.”
Apart from Mount’s free-kick, he also curled another set-piece just wide, while skipper Richard Keogh had a shot saved by Rovers keeper David Raya.
Bogle’s glorious surge forward nearly ended with a goal, but Raya was equal to the task, while Bradley Dack passed up a glorious opportunity for the visitors, before sub Elliott Bennett flashed a late effort just wide.
“We should have been two or three up by half-time and in the first half I thought we were particularly good,” said Lampard. “We had more chances in the second half and the performance was top and that’s the sort of display I want from us.
“If we had just put the icing on the cake with three, four or five goals today it would not have flattered us.”
Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray was pleased to see the commitment shine through from his players, who put their bodies on the line to keep out a quality Rams outfit.
“I think that’s what we’ve done all season,” revealed Mowbray. “To play Aston Villa on Saturday night and then come here, and not to have lost either game is quite a feat.
“Yes, you could see the gulf between the two teams, nobody is denying that, but I could have been sitting here slightly embarrassed if Dack had stuck that one in the net.
“Derby are a good team, they have invested a lot over the years, as have Aston Villa, but the best teams don’t always win, that’s football.
“What I would say about our team, it’s got a huge spirit, a togetherness and a camaraderie. They refused to lose, competed for every ball. We didn’t have the quality in possession they had and yet they didn’t score and we could have nicked it.”