Thomas Tuchel understands Patrick Vieira’s frustrations over Chelsea’s decision to block loanee Conor Gallagher from playing in this weekend’s FA Cup semi-final against Crystal Palace.
The midfielder is thriving on loan at Selhurst Park, but will not play in the Wembley showdown after the Blues rejected Palace’s special request to allow him to feature against his parent club.
Palace boss Vieira said: ‘It’s not the best rule because the only one who will lose is Conor.
There’s a semi-final, it’s a really exciting game about how you will manage yourself and prepare yourself to play that game, then there’s playing that kind of game and the importance of it.
It’s an experience the player is missing and I’m disappointed for him. He has played all the games so far and if there’s somebody who deserves to be in the semi-final, it’s him because of his performances, so I’m disappointed he won’t be able to play.’
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s semi-final, Tuchel reacted to Vieira’s comments and revealed he met Gallagher and apologised regarding the decision.
I had the chance to speak to Conor and I could also see his frustration,’ Tuchel told reporters on Friday.
‘We met some weeks ago after the international break by coincidence in a restaurant and we had a chat.
The subject came up and I apologised because I know how competitive he is and I like him a lot and I know his character and it was a pleasure to have him here in pre-season. That’s the way it is, we play to win the game and the rules were clear when we made the loan.
And I also totally understand Patrick Vieira and the disappointment of Conor of course but these were the rules when we did the loan and we don’t want to suffer from our rules.’