Every word Thomas Tuchel said on Leeds vs Chelsea, Kovacic's injury, Lukaku's form, Chalobah, more

Every word Thomas Tuchel said on Leeds vs Chelsea, Kovacic’s injury, Lukaku’s form, Chalobah, more

What is the assessment of your team’s performance tonight?

“I think we played very, very well from the first minute. I was very happy with the level of focus, determination and support we showed. We were strong in the challenges, brave in our defense and we supported each other, so I’m very happy with the performance over the 90 minutes.

“We were very strong when it was eleven against eleven. Later the focus changes a bit when you have one more player on the pitch because you have easier ball possession. But at the same time the level concentration must remain high and you must remain very disciplined not to allow counter-attacks because Leeds will never stop running or fighting.

“So the effort and all the focus was on the counter pressure and if we made mistakes it was a case of us making mistakes. We understood the game better and better when we were a second man period and we didn’t give in. That was the most important thing. And it was a deserved victory for a good performance.”

READ MORE: Thomas Tuchel scare comes true as Mateo Kovacic argues with Leeds fans in Chelsea win

Does Romelu Lukaku find his rhythm at the right time?

“It’s always a good time to find the rhythm. I’m happy that he scored again and that he wanted to stay on the pitch to score his goal. I’m also happy for Puli (Christian Pulisic) and Mason ( Mount) that we were decisive with attacking players. It’s important for them because it gives them confidence.”

Is Mateo Kovacic likely to play in the FA Cup final after injury?

“I’m not telling you as a coach and not as an expert, but for me it’s very unlikely. I see it – first of all, if Mateo comes out, he never comes out and he played in the FA Cup semi-final with the same injury and tried to play another 15 minutes which was almost impossible.Now he’s out.It was a swollen ankle and he’s in a lot of pain.

“For me, I’m not a doctor and we have to wait for the exams. It’s very unlikely that he will be able to play. It’s very bad news for us on a perfect evening.”

How important is this victory for you ahead of the FA Cup final?

“It was necessary to change things, the way we play on the pitch. Where we take risks, how we take risks, how we protect ourselves, the concentration, the level of awareness of dangerous situations for us and where we need to protect each other, we had to pull together, it’s as simple as that.

“There was a reason why we conceded the goals, there was a reason why we conceded a late equaliser. We did it as a team and of course tactical decisions, but it was also the behavior in tactics. We talked about it and immediately escalated.

“There was nothing new that we did today, but we did our stuff with a much higher level of concentration and discipline than in the last games. I felt the team was very calm and determined before the game and they delivered a performance that we have become so used to for several weeks.

“We saw a big difference today and I’m happy. It was necessary – not just because of our situation – because it’s good to come to a game like Saturday with a calm mind. It was the basis for that: this performance.”

Were you irritated by Daniel James’ challenge and how disappointed will you be for Mateo Kovacic if he misses the FA Cup final?

“If he misses it I’m very disappointed because he was a clear starter. If you look at the quality today with Jorgi and him in central midfield when we played eleven against eleven it was a very good He’s a key figure for us in midfield.

“He played against Liverpool – I think both games from the start – and was very strong. He’s super, super hungry and determined, and excited to play those games. And of course he’s afraid to miss it. We We’ll see We have to wait, maybe we have a miracle and we’re making it possible.

“I didn’t see the challenge live. I just saw it from a distance on the iPad. I’m not good at watching these situations because it physically hurts me to watch it, but everyone m said it was a clear red card.”

Is removing Romelu from something you discussed?

“We asked him how he felt because after 75 minutes, for a heavier player with a big physical input after two games, maybe it was good to go out. But I was aware that he didn’t didn’t have his goal. Puli and Mason have already scored so we left him on the pitch to try and get his goal and we’re happy with how it worked out.”

How satisfied were you with Trevoh Chalobah’s performance tonight after bringing him back?

“He can deliver those performances and he’s played a lot, so there’s no reason to be disappointed for him. He’s had an incredible number of games from the start. [of the season] and we know it. It’s normal to have ups and downs in terms of positive performance, that’s normal.

“We informed the team very late today who is playing. He may not have expected it. It was the same against West Ham where he came on short notice. In both matches he has delivered. That’s the level he can deliver.

“It’s about consistency. He’s been lacking a bit in recent weeks and we’ve made other choices, which is normal. But he has to stay humble, work hard and he can be a big part of it.”


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