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Thomas Tuchel gives bullish assessment of what Chelsea need to overhaul Man City and Liverpool

Thomas Tuchel has proved himself a master of the pre-match press conference during his time at Chelsea. No subject is off-limits to the German and stock answers are rarely – if ever – given.

It’s partly why Tuchel has won so hearts and minds at Stamford Bridge. He is engaging, thought-provoking, analytical, and often entertaining in a way few Premier League head coaches are.

And every now and then, the Chelsea head coach will go to another level in terms of detail. He did it when discussing Jorginho’s role earlier this season and repeated the trick last month when reflecting upon the importance of N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic.

These responses tend to span several minutes yet never feel like an unconstructed stream of consciousness. They are, in truth, Tuchel at his most captivating, a true window into the mind of an elite coach.

And every now and then, the Chelsea head coach will go to another level in terms of detail. He did it when discussing Jorginho’s role earlier this season and repeated the trick last month when reflecting upon the importance of N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic.

These responses tend to span several minutes yet never feel like an unconstructed stream of consciousness. They are, in truth, Tuchel at his most captivating, a true window into the mind of an elite coach.

So let us set the scene. It was ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League trip to Crystal Palace that Tuchel was asked about whether the Blues’ Club World Cup win could revitalise his squad after a difficult winter period in which they have fallen 16 points Manchester City in the Premier League.

Tuchel delivered his response to that question but then went on to explain what needs to change if Chelsea are to compete with City and Liverpool in the Premier League going forward.

“I think it [the Club World Cup win] should give us, and I’m pretty sure it gives us, the belief that we are a competitive team and a team that can also deliver in knockout games,” Tuchel started.

“In cup games, World Cup games, in tournament games, it can bring out the very best in us which is only a good thing.

“We have to admit that the Premier League season does not consist of only knockout games. It’s a different challenge to be champions of the toughest competition in Europe.

“It needs additional qualities that we need to implement and need to be relentless to implement. We need to be realistic enough that we opened the gap by playing too many draws.

“Still, I think the good news and where the two things are linked is that there is no doubt that we are competitive. There is no doubt that we can step up under pressure and deliver under pressure. It brings out the very best in us.

“That’s why I think we should not start doubting it or stop believing. There are some things to solve in terms of consistency. We have enough reasons to believe that Corona and injury-wise, we were not on the lucky side. It cost us many points playing too many draws.

“So there are things to improve and we will not stop being on them. It gives us a boost, hopefully, because it is proof that we are capable of overcoming difficult games, of overcoming nervous scenarios.

“There is a lot of pressure before these games, Champions League games, cup games and World Cup games, it is like this. We can rely on it. This is, first and foremost, very good news.”

 

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