Thomas Tuchel has personally apologized to Conor Gallagher after Chelsea prevented the midfielder from playing against them in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final.
Gallagher has played on loan at Crystal Palace this season, helping them into the last four of the cup and winning a day at Wembley.
Palace made a formal request to Chelsea for Gallagher to play, but the Blues rejected it due to the terms of his loan.
While manager Tuchel insisted it was the right decision, he also admitted to understanding the 22-year-old’s frustrations.
When asked if he could appreciate the frustration of Palace boss Patrick Vieira and Gallagher, Tuchel replied: “Yes. I had the chance to speak to Conor, and I could also see his frustration. .
“We met a few weeks ago, we met after the international break by chance, in a restaurant, and we talked, and the subject came up. And I apologized!
“Because I know how competitive he is and I know his character, I like him a lot and it was a pleasure to have him here in pre-season.
“We are playing to win the game, the rules were clear when we went on loan. I can totally understand Conor’s disappointment, but those were the rules when we went on loan and we don’t want to suffer from our rules.
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Gallagher scored eight goals in all competitions during a fine campaign on loan at Palace which also saw his elevation to England side Gareth Southgate.
The Chelsea academy graduate is likely to join the Blues first team next season and will likely be given the chance to defend his position in favor of this pre-season move.
Chelsea will be hoping to bounce back from the disappointment of a midweek Champions League exit to Real Madrid.
The FA Cup represents their last chance for silverware this season and will hope to do better than in the 2020/21 campaign, where they lost in the final to Leicester.
“I think we’re all a bit in between; in part it gives a huge confidence boost, but it’s still a disappointment to come out of the Champions League in the quarter-finals,” Tuchel said.
“It’s just not a big drama and not in that way either. But it’s a disappointment because we feel we could be one of the four teams in the semi-finals.
“It’s a bit of a weird feeling because we had a huge task going to Madrid. We were three goals up so in a knockout game at the Bernabeu it was a fantastic performance and it still remains. like that, but it still tastes bitter because we came out of the Champions League.
“Given the two legs, there were too many individual errors, punished by quality. It was still a bit in between for me, but we bounced back from both results and performances against Brentford and Real Madrid at home.
“We won both games after that and there’s a big knockout game at Wembley.
“In my opinion, it’s a good thing, a huge reward to go with it. This is immediately another knockout game.
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