Romelu Lukaku has been named Premier League Player of the Month – as he eyes getting April off to a flyer in the Merseyside derby.
The in-form Blues striker was rewarded for an impressive March, when he netted four times and provided two assists, as he moved to the top of the Premier League scoring charts with 21 goals.
Lukaku was voted for the award ahead of Bournemouth duo Artur Boruc and Joshua King, Southampton’s Nathan Redmond, Liverpool’s Georginio Wijnaldum and Mamadou Sakho of Crystal Palace.
The Belgium international thanked his Blues teammates for his eye-catching month, which saw him score against Spurs, West Brom and twice at home to Hull – as well as set up Morgan Schneiderlin and Enner Valencia for goals.
And he was quick to turn his attention to Saturday’s clash at Anfield, still focused on catching the top six in the Premier League.
“I’m really happy, (winning the award) gives me another boost, I’m playing well at the minute and the team is doing really well as well so I think this is for all my teammates, the staff here and the Belgium national team for helping me throughout this journey,” said the 23-year-old.
“I think we’re preparing differently this year (for the derby) because obviously we’ve had the games with the national team but we’re not really talking about the game. We are in a good flow at the minute, we know that we have be focused and keep our emotions under control, even though it’s a derby.
“At the end of the day you want to win, you need to keep your focus and make sure that you get the three points at the end.”
All four of Lukaku’s goals in March came in the final 10 minutes of matches, a statistic he credits with improved fitness levels, as he revealed how he has honed his all-round game.
“Physically we’ve been working really hard this year,” he added. “I think my fitness levels have improved so much this year and I’m really focused. I’ve been waiting and creating the chances for myself and getting the ball from my teammates and making the best out of it.
“I’ve always scored goals but it was the quality of the goals that has improved. And the way I score my goals now, I create goals myself as well which is better, and I scored from a free-kick as well this year so I’m scoring more headers and the rest has just improved.
“I think the quality of my finishing has become better, my overall play has become better but it’s a long journey still and I want to work harder to get even better.”