Thomas Tuchel addressed the media ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League clash with Leeds United on Wednesday night.
Chelsea head on the road for the final time in the league season. They travel to Yorkshire to face Jesse Marsch’s relegation-threatened side in a must-win home match for the hosts.
They have lost their previous three league outings, while Chelsea come into the game following a 2-2 draw after surrendering a two goal lead against Wolves at the weekend.
Here’s what the Chelsea boss had to say in full in his pre-match press conference:
On Chelsea takeover & Todd Boehly:
“After the end of the match (against Wolves) with a late goal, an equaliser, we had other things to talk and think about unfortunately. Nothing has changed for us at Cobham, we are still waiting for the confirmation, for things to progress, to hopefully have news for you and for us, for the team, to inject some positive energy.
“Not yet (getting a chance to meet Boehly).
“We are the only club in the moment that suffers like this, maybe the first club that ever did this. It is a situation that is unique and a situation that is quite challenging. Of course, everybody hopes for the situation to be clarified. These are steps in the right direction. We are waiting for it since a long time. We need the positive energy and competitive atmosphere at the club. It is very important for things to progress.
On distraction of takeover:
“It has for sure. I think there’s no sense in hiding from the fact that it is a distraction. It is a matter of how much level we can reach up even if we are distracted or worried or disadvantaged by it. We did excellent until the international break, it had no effect in terms of results. It had almost the opposite effect. We felt strong during the difficulties and the announcement, the sanctions in place. Maybe something also very human and normal took place, in the moment of two weeks off or one week off with the players not here, there were different influences to them and maybe more thoughts to the situation in general. The situation is now very, very long and the players also want to feel competitive and know what’s going on next season. A player, a guy like Toni decided to change the club. With everyday it gets a bit more difficult, not impossible. We are still looking to reach the level and be competitive, win games. It is no excuse but for sure is a reason.”
On clarity for transfer window:
“In the moment not. A positive sign. It feels like it will come to an end and give us possibilities to act but at this very moment it is not like this.”
On annoyance of throwing away leads:
“That is always annoying. It will never stop being annoying. If you look at our results throughout the season, we have a decent amount of wins and not a high amount of losses but way too many draws. A lot of draws where we were in leading position. It was annoying because we thought we had it, I thought we had it. We had chance to score the third one. We took a very offensive approach to the game, to inject energy, positivity and fluidity to our attacks. We played a bit too open, allowed too many counter-attacks, too many chances – partly due to our approach we took. Partly because of the behaviour in the structure. Still, we were there. We were almost there until the 96th minute, we conceded with a very last shot. It is a tough one to swallow, always. Will never change.”
On Chelsea’s biggest game being the FA Cup final:
“You say this? It’s true? Okay… I don’t know. The biggest match is always the next match! Thanks for respecting my opinion!”
On Liverpool playing before Chelsea:
“We are used to it. We will not comment on it. Well, it’s… what is it? I am confused with the days. We play Tuesday to Saturday and Wednesday to Saturday. We would love one more day but we don’t have.”
On advice to Erling Haaland ahead of Man City move:
“Me!? Giving advice to… Haaland!? No advice! It’s not sure. No? If he does not play for us I will not give any advice
On meeting new owners and knowing how much he can spend in the summer:
“Absolutely not. Maybe if I had (information on money for the summer) I would not tell you! But I do not have so I don’t need to lie.”
On injecting positive energy to Chelsea squad:
“We look a bit drained, tired mentally. We look at the sideline, this is understandable given the circumstances around the club in which we play in. This is draining, this is challenging. We had some knockout games in which we play after the national break, with huge emotional input, huge emotions to deal with. From losing to Real Madrid, winning at Real Madrid, losing the Champions League then suddenly being at Wembley and then suddenly in the race in two weeks with four matches against different teams in the Premier League. It is quite challenging. After all we have a lot of matches in our legs, in our bones. We feel it. It’s another reason. I think everybody knows it, we can even feel it and still with being tired, distracted, maybe concerned, we need to reach a certain level which is possible. We can do better than we did in the last two matches. The positive thing is that I feel the will, the motivation. The motivation was very high to turn things around against Wolverhampton. You see the physical input, it was maybe too high in some situations where we even attacked with defenders, very high in the pitch and opened space in counter attacks. It was not a lack of motivation, it was the opposite. There was good signs. We trust the team, we trust our players and trust what brought us here. Now is the moment for me to stay calm, take it step by step and finish the season on a positive note.”
On challenges to keep players departing in the summer motivated:
“You can always end up in a situation where players at the end of the season can have talks with other clubs, have different ideas and maybe get distracted because they sign for other teams. It happens. It’s a bit easier if you are also free to act and be more involved in the talks. Now it feels like we are spectators of the development, we don’t like. It’s a passive role and a bit strange. You can feel it. We have already discussed now a lot of points (for struggles), if you bring these together maybe it can provide an explanation as to why the edge in our game is missing. Still, I can just repeat myself. It is not the moment to point fingers on the players and to be too harsh and demanding. It’s, yes demanding, but not overdo it. We trust ourselves. Everybody in the building and who arrives tomorrow wants to finish on a positive spin. There is still a lot to achieve.”
On away form being better than home form:
“Not sure if anybody is comfortable tomorrow as we expect a pretty tough match and crowd. But yeah, it is like this. It’s a thing where we have no real solutions, no real explanation until now. We are aware of the fact we collected way more points on the road than at home. Maybe it helps us tomorrow a little bit, who knows. The final is also not played at Stamford Bridge so lets take it from there!”
On Leeds United:
“It looks different (to reverse fixture). They even stepped up in their physical input, which is quite remarkable because we thought they already played on their top level physical wise under Bielsa but they stepped up in terms of high intensity runs, in terms of attacking. This is what we expect, they play a slightly different formation. Not sure what they play tomorrow. They played against City in a back five and only played once. That was a very good match they played and the result does not tell you the story. I watched the match, they played very well in a 541. Otherwise they play in a 4231, they look very committed. In general, it is a fast team, a hard working team, a talented team individually. This is what we wait for. This is a match for them, do or die, like a cup match for them. The atmosphere will be like this. I am looking forward to it actually. I have played there once but without spectators. It will be a big fight. The atmosphere and the surrounding will tell you instantly what is going on and we will feel it straight away. We need to step up.
On improvements on the pitch:
“From the last match it is pretty obvious. We took too much risk in our structure and were not disciplined enough in our structure. Our approach was already very offensive and very risky. Within the structure we took too much risk. Our game management and management of situation needs to be better. For the Everton game we would have wished for more physical input. For the game against Manchester United I would have wished for nothing more than more goals because we were excellent. Every match tells us a different story. That’s why it is a bit hard to put the focus on one thing. It is a bit up and down lately which we don’t like. We are on it on different things. For tomorrow we need to be spot on from first to last minute.”
On heated exchange with Marcos Alonso:
“Started and ended in the first half. Was not continued at half-time. Nothing else. Things are solved. That happens.”
On having team in for extra training:
“Yeah, we came in. We planned a free day but after the disappointment it was not even to punish them. It was normally a free day and maybe some felt it was a punishment. It wasn’t. It was not the moment for a free day, it is better to be together and talk about it than to go and everybody has his own opinion, own truth. You have more risk to be in fragments than to be here. We did very light training, had a run together and discussed things, how to approach the next days. We brought everybody together to have the chance to be together. A lot of players supported the Under-23’s on the other pitch which was very nice. That’s what we are. Very supportive, open minded group of players. That’s what it felt like on Sunday. That’s what the Sunday morning was for, not to punish them or do a video session and show the mistakes or behaviour we could have done better. It was just to be together and not in different groups away from each other on a free day. That’s why we put everybody in.”
On team news:
“We are fighting for Jorgi and N’Golo. It will be close and I don’t know if we will make it.
- Chelsea’s next 5 EPL matches including a home match against Arsenal
- CHE 0-1 NOF: Caicedo’s Performance In Today’s Game Showed Why Chelsea Were Wrong To Sign Him
- Crucial Talks: Juventus Demands €40m for Vlahović in Lukaku Swap, Chelsea’s Decision Lies with Pochettino
- Chelsea’s Transfer Pursuit Intensifies: Michael Olise of Crystal Palace Emerges as Prime Winger Target
- Chelsea’s Pursuit of Tyler Adams can Bolstering the Squad for a Successful Season