Thomas Tuchel has urged his Chelsea side not to step into their comfort zone after an important 1-0 away win against Atletico Madrid which represents the first game in a series of tough games.
Manchester United, Liverpool, Everton and Leeds are next in the Premier League, ahead of Chelsea hosting Diego Simeone’s side at Stamford Bridge in the Champions League second leg.
It will be a big test of how good the Blues are as Chelsea remain undefeated in eight games after Tuchel took over from Frank Lampard last month.
What did Tuchel say?
After being asked about Mason Mount and Jorginho’s suspensions in the second leg, Tuchel spoke of the need not to be complacent after his biggest win to date as manager of the Blues.
“Remember Jorginho, we will miss two crucial players [in the second leg], that doesn’t make it easy for us, “he told the Arena Nationala.” I am very happy with the performance of everyone, including Mason of course.
“Again, good effort, great effort, high pace of work, high intensity like we’re used to playing like that. He’s having a big impact on our squad. Honestly, we’re now playing Man Utd, Everton, Liverpool and Leeds., That’s good.
“We can’t get comfortable, we can’t be lazy. These games will push us to our limits, and then we will think about our solutions for the second leg.”
And Giroud, winner of the match?
Olivier Giroud’s acrobatic kick won the game on Tuesday night and, having left him in four of his eight matches so far, Tuchel admits the France international could play more often.
“No it was not [that we saved him for Atletico]”, He added.” We thought long and hard to bring him in. It was clearly a possibility he would debut against Southampton [after scoring versus Newcastle], then we analyzed them and they are a very aggressive team and they are pressing and playing high.
“So we expected more space behind the last row and we wanted more points in depth. I only had three changes because in our championship you can only have three changes. was not too happy with my decisions in the game against Southampton.
“Maybe we missed the opportunity to bring him to the end, but I can say I saved him for today!”
Tuchel went on to praise Giroud’s professionalism, fitness and influence on the team at 34: “If you see him daily you can’t be surprised. He’s totally in good shape, his body is in good shape. and its physicality is at the top.
“Mentally I really have the feeling that he enjoys being a professional football player at this level every day and that is the level he has to be. He trains like a 20-year-old, like a 24-year-old.
“He’s a guy who has a good mix of seriousness and joy in training. He’s always positive and he’s a big factor for the squad. He starts off, when he comes from the bench, he has all these qualities. and that’s fine. “