Homas Tuchel is convinced it can still be a trophy-rich season for Chelsea, despite Manchester City opening up a sizable lead in the title race.
The German is adamant there will be no slacking off in his attempt to add to the Champions League trophy he won last season as he aims for four cups in the second half of the campaign.
Chelsea are still competing on all fronts as they defend their European crown and prepare for the Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi next month.
They are 90 minutes away from the Carabao Cup final, with a 2-0 lead over Tottenham ahead of their semi-final second leg against Antonio Conte’s side on Wednesday.
Tuchel underscored his determination to ensure he delivers more silverware by appointing a squad filled with internationals against Chesterfield out of the league.
He insisted his decision had nothing to do with City’s 10-point lead atop the Premier League. But at a time when the Chelsea manager has repeatedly expressed concerns about the demands placed on players following the latest Covid spike, it was clear he was not prepared to take risks even against opposition. also limited.
“If we had had more points in the league and were closer to Man City it would have been the same lineup,” he said. “It’s just that game to play, so that makes it the most important game.
“Of course we knew it was a fifth division team. We took risks. Only four players in preparation and six to attack. We did it and we relied on the seriousness and discipline of the players, which they showed and the job is therefore done.
“Once we go out and play, we play for our spectators and for ourselves and we want to win the game.”
Meanwhile, Tuchel has been encouraged by the progress Saul Niguez has made in recent weeks after the Spain midfielder had such a scorching start to life at Stamford Bridge.
The Atletico Madrid star on loan has struggled to acclimatize to Premier League life but impressed in last week’s win against Spurs and again against Chesterfield.
Tuchel said: “He’s more confident and in better shape. A huge step forward was the performance against Tottenham in the Carabao Cup.
“The adaptation has gone further and you can see he’s more open, understands better, and had a lot more impact than he was at the start of the season.”