Hakim Ziyech says he is working hard to get back to his best after a tough first campaign at Stamford Bridge but says he is very happy under Thomas Tuchel.
The Moroccan joined Chelsea off the back of several excellent seasons at Ajax but has struggled to replicate that form, scoring just four goals in 29 matches in all competitions while he has failed to score or provide any assist in the Premier League since early November.
Ziyech has also found game time limited under Tuchel, starting just four of Chelsea’s 12 league matches under the coach and only playing four minutes across both legs of their Champions League quarter-final victory over Porto.
Despite his lack of game time, Ziyech says he is enjoying playing under the German and is working hard to force his way into the team more regularly having now overcome his early season injury niggles.
Asked how he is faring under Tuchel, the playmaker told Chelsea’s Unscripted show: ‘It’s different, different than we’d had the last six months [under Frank Lampard]. He’s bringing his own vision.
‘I think his statistics say it all, so it goes well for everybody. We are doing what we have to do and winning a lot of games, we’re playing good football. So I think everybody at the club is happy with his journey here.’
On his struggles at Chelsea, and the injury setbacks he has had, Ziyech continued: ‘Before I came I had been out for seven months mostly. I came here and started with injuries, so for me it was more that I was already behind everybody physically.
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‘So the way to work hard and coming back to the physical point where I’m normally at, and then still trying to go one step further, it takes some time.
‘I’m always the type of guy that always believes in myself, I always work hard in training. It’s not always that it comes out in games, but I’m working hard every day on it. I know what I can do and I always trust in myself.’
He added: ‘It’s always about believing in yourself. Of course you have some points where some things worry you, but you have to be mentally stronger.
‘I’m still learning every day to be mentally stronger. I’m always thinking that things happen for a reason, that something better will come after that time. I always believed in that and have that mindset and the only thing I can do is try to stay calm and work as hard as I can.’