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Tuchel talks recruitment plans and relishing a meeting with ‘gentleman’ Hodgson



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Thomas Tuchel has said that once the current campaign ends, his focus will switch to ways in which he can improve the Chelsea squad ahead of next season.

The Blues will bring the curtain down on the 2021/22 season on Sunday, when Watford visit Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea hoping to end on a high in front of our supporters with a strong performance and three points.

Our German head coach was asked to look back on the season on a whole and while admitting there have been some strong moments and some difficulties, Tuchel feels we have performed well given some of the circumstances but also wants us to improve for next season. Recruitment, he adds, is one area he hopes to press on with once the final whistle blows on Sunday afternoon.

‘Of course I think we can do better,’ Tuchel explained ahead of tomorrow’s final Premier League outing.

“The season has been demanding but also a lot of fun” | Thomas Tuchel press conference

Thomas Tuchel faces the press ahead of Chelsea’s final Premier League game of the season against Watford at Stamford Bridge.

‘It’s not by much, there are fine margins, but we will look positively into the new season. It’s not the moment to analyse everything from this season right now because I don’t have all the answers.

‘There are things we would have changed before anyway. We’ve struggled obviously with efficiency, with our goalscoring records, with consistency, with determination and precision in the box against teams who defend deep. Lot of things like this.

‘It never stopped for us so maybe it just needs to change that we have everybody available where we can but it’s difficult when you play so many games and it’s the same for all the top teams.

The German is preparing his side for our final game of the season

‘You look at the top teams and they look to combat this by making their existing squads stronger. Liverpool bought a fantastic player [Luis Diaz] in January to improve and Man City have signed [Erling] Haaland for next season to make them stronger.

‘We are losing players so, at the moment, my focus is to build a strong team and to see what’s even possible and then we can think about how we close the gap to the top.’

Facing Tuchel in the dugout this weekend will be Roy Hodgson, with the Watford boss set to retire from football at the age of 74 following Sunday’s game.

The former England boss has been unable to prevent the Hornets slipping back into the Championship for next season but, nevertheless, Tuchel holds the utmost respect for what Hodgson has achieved in the game and is looking forward to locking horns with a man he was once impressed by as a young coach at Borussia Dortmund.

Tuchel and Hodgson will meet again this weekend

‘Roy certainly does not look old enough to be 74!’ Tuchel said with a smile.

‘I’ll be really happy to meet him again on Sunday. I met him once before actually here in London to discuss football performance which was very nice. I was coach of Dortmund at that time and he was very impressive, because he was super-friendly, a real gentleman and very open in sharing his points of view and his opinions.

‘It will be nice to be on the sidelines with him and if it is his last game, then he deserves full credit for his career.

‘Clearly, it’s so impressive that at this kind of age he still has the energy, the commitment and the love for the game. I think it can happen to me to be very honest but let’s see, I’m pretty sure I will still be in love with football at 74 too!’

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