Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is confident Timo Werner will soon rediscover his goalscoring touch.
The Germany international, who was signed in the summer for a fee of around £45million, has managed just one goal in his last 19 games for the club, with that coming against Sky Bet League Two side Morecambe in the FA Cup.
After appearing sluggish and off the pace at times towards the end Frank Lampard’s reign as manager, Werner showed signs of improvement and sharpness in last week’s win against Tottenham and caught the eye again on Sunday night as Chelsea won 2-1 at Sheffield United.
The 24-year-old’s darting run and cut back set up the opening goal for Mason Mount, and Werner then won the penalty that allowed Jorginho to restore the Blues’ lead early in the second half, after Antonio Rudiger’s own goal had drawn the Blades level.
“It was a brilliant run for the first goal and it was good decision-making in the second to go around the goalkeeper and he got us the decisive penalty again, as he did at Tottenham,” said Tuchel.
“I could see the Tottenham game gave him a boost in confidence and he was unlucky in that game not to score, but he worked incredibly hard and was disciplined and today he was really strong and in the game mentally and physically.
“This is important because if he continues like this I am sure the goals will come.”
Werner had to be substituted after 75 minutes, but Tuchel allayed any fears of a major problem.
“Its a dead leg, it is not serious. It is something that is very painful in the moment, but right now I don’t have any worries,” said the Blues boss.
Chelsea remain undefeated since Tuchel took charge, with the victory at Bramall Lane their third in four matches under the German.
It moved them up to fifth place in the Premier League and to within a point of fourth-placed Liverpool.
“It won’t help to talk about it (finishing in the top four), but we are responsible for the situation,” said Tuchel.
“We are close to where we want to be and want to do everything we can to reach the top four, this was the clear aim when we started.
“We are the hunters for the teams in front of us, but it changes nothing. Like everyone else we will be under pressure to continue the run and maintain the momentum.”
An 18th Premier League defeat of the season halted the Blades’ recent resurgence as they look to pull off the greatest of escapes from relegation, after winning three of their previous five games in the competition.
However, manager Chris Wilder believes his players can take confidence from their recent performances in a difficult run of matches and win more games before the end of the season.
“The run we’ve had, around which we’ve played arguably the three form teams in the division in Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United… the division is unforgiving and I think we will be glad to see the back of the likes of Chelsea and wish them all the best for the rest of the season,” said Wilder, whose team remain bottom of the table and 12 points from safety.
“We also played Tottenham in this little spell as well, who arrived here on a good run of form.
“We feel we can win points in this division and we have to concentrate on the next 15 games and believe we can win games of football and I believe we can do that.
“We just need to show a little bit more quality and composure in big moments and believe in themselves that they are good players, allied with the undoubted attitude they have.”