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Every Word Thomas Tuchel Said Ahead of Chelsea's Premier League Clash vs Leicester City

Thomas Tuchel addressed the media ahead of Chelsea's Premier League clash against Leicester City on Saturday afternoon.

Chelsea are back in action after the conclusion of the international and will be keen to get back to winning ways after a 1-1 draw to Burnley last time out.

They head to the King Power Stadium sitting top of the table on 26 points.

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Brendan Rodgers' side got the better of the Blues in the previous encounter after Youri Tielemans' stunning strike, who is out of this clash, clinched FA Cup final glory for the Foxes.

Here's what the Chelsea boss had to say in full in his pre-match press conference:


On team news:

“I can tell you that Mateo and Romelu are still out for the game in Leicester tomorrow. Romelu is very close to team training so hopefully he will join the squad on Sunday, let’s see how this works out. He is pushing hard and trying hard to come back as soon as possible. We will try on Sunday. Mateo, that will take another days until he can try team training. He will miss some matches. Timo is in team training since yesterday, so let’s see. We have another training in two hours then we will decide if it makes sense if he is in the squad or on the bench. We can only decide after his second training later. Christian Pulisic feels fine. Thiago will be in the training, he did not play but he has some travel in his body and some time differences so let’s see how this works out. I am confident. Mason is back in training, looking hungry and fresh and in a good spirit but we need to evaluate. He did this week's training sessions, looks good but we need to see if he can start, if he can play 90 minutes.”

Can Lukaku be involved vs Juventus and Manchester United?

“It is pure speculation and it will not help. All I can say is that in the moment we will try hard for him to join team training on Sunday. If everything works out perfectly, if he is in training on Sunday and Monday he can maybe join the group. There are a lot of ifs. I do not want to put pressure on him. He is putting a lot of pressure on himself and we will not rush things, we will take things serious as always. We will have talks with doctors, physios and the player. This is going to be decided. If there is something to be decided this is good. It will be decided on Monday evening.”

On Jorginho missing a penalty for Italy:

“If there is a guy who has enough personality to handle disappointment, it is Jorgi (Jorginho). I fully trust his personality and character. The most important thing is that when he arrives here, he feels safe. When he arrives in Cobham he knows everyone will support him no matter what happened outside this building. He is our player, he is fully protected, fully appreciated. We are super happy he is back. These things happen during a career and he is not the first one to miss an important penalty and he will not be the last one. He has enough character, enough difficulties in his career if you know the story from Jorgi, how he made it to professional football and what obstacles he overcame.This is a bump in the road, nothing more. We will do all we can to make sure he feels safe in Cobham and can continue to play on the highest level like he did on day one.”

On timing of Leicester game after international break:

“In general it’s a demanding one to prepare for 12:30 matches. We are not used to it, it is new. We changed our rhythm in preparing the matches a little bit last time. That worked out for us well. The rhythm of our meetings, when we gave the line-ups, to do as less as possible on match days. It is an early time to eat, it is an early time to prepare and to have a calm preparation. We are used to it after national breaks. I don’t think you will find a lot of coaches who like it, to have the full squad on Friday and to play on Saturday at 12:30 but it is the challenge, there are no excuses. We will not start opening the discussion about excuses. We will arrive well prepared in Leicester this evening and then it is on us to show how strong we are tomorrow.”

On Conor Gallagher’s England performance & pride in call-up:

“It’s too early to talk about it (Gallagher’s Chelsea future) and way too early to talk about it in public before we talk with Conor himself about what he wants, what his goals are. This will happen in summer. We all agreed this is the best step, with the decision that he wanted to join Crystal Palace and Patrick Vieira’s team. He saw this possibility for him, we had these talks before. I am not surprised that the national coach loves him because I loved him from day one. There cannot be a coach who does not like guys like this, humble, nice, smile on their face, who always want to give everything, want to learn, want to improve. I would also as a teammate have loved to play with him. He is a helper. He starts on minute one and finishes maybe in the shower. He maybe then finishes running and stealing balls. It is a pleasure to know the guy, to have the guy. I am super happy that things work out so well. Now it is on him to keep on going, keep the feet on the ground. The rest we will decide not in a rush.”

On Gallagher recall:

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“Actually, I have not thought about it, to bring him back earlier. It is also important for him to be happy where he is and not change the next things. It is important to be calm in this stage of the career. I feel him happy there. Everyone is happy. It is good he has this impact at Crystal Palace.It is now about consistency, he has had a game at national team. You have to process all these things so right now, if you ask me today, I do not think it is necessary to change things again for him at winter. I am super happy he does so well, super happy personally because he is a guy who absolutely deserves the very best because he is such a nice guy and top player.”

On time off during international break:

“Yeah! It is (brutal). I am looking forward to it because I am in a lucky position where I love my job and my job does not feel like a job. My job feels like a huge part of my life. I am enjoying everyday being with a huge squad and being around a football team. I feel pretty privileged and that’s why I think I am ready to go!”

“Yes it does (football consumes me) in a good way! It makes me happy. I love the game and I feel very blessed to be part of a big football club and I have the possibility to live my passion. I feel blessed. It is the first time now we will play around Christmas and New Year. The last years I was also enjoying a little break. We had a little break in France, in Germany. But what did we do? We watched Boxing Day (Premier League fixtures) of course! Now I am in the middle of it. It was pure fun to watch. Now, hopefully, it is more fun to be part of it! I am aware of the schedule but, like I say, it does not feel like a job. It feels like a big part of my life and I’m happy to have the possibility to be here.”

On Leicester City clash:

“They had a key player in (Wesley) Fofana getting injured. This can create a bit of trouble in starting the season. I think they are a team of individual quality, full of talent. It is a top club, a top team and a top coach. I expect a tough one. I expect also Chelsea team, our team, to play with hunger and passion, with the purpose to win. This is the mindset which we want to install again to restart winning and restart our engine after the international breaks. I am the first time there. I played them twice, once at Wembley and once at Stamford Bridge. Everyone tells me this is a tough place to play up but we are up for it.”

On Antonio Rudiger’s future:

“We know that (he can speak to foreign clubs in January). I think it is pretty clear what we want but it is not like this in football that the coach or club want something and things happen. You have to accept it that sometimes it can arrive and you can end up in situations where the things are like in a bit of a delay and things maybe take their time. I am very, very sure that Toni feels how respected, what kind of important role he plays in this club. I think he is up for the toughest challenge, the toughest challenge is Premier League football, to win titles. He is a big part in a big club and I am very sure he is aware of it. I am calm because I feel Toni calm, I feel the situation calm inside. From here we go. I am happy he plays like how he plays. We need him on this kind of level.”

On Callum Hudson-Odoi’s England U21 snub after Gallagher call-up:

“Maybe (he will change his approach) but it is Callum’s choice in the end. I will not interfere and I will not be the guy to decide for him. He needs to decide. The best way to talk is with performance on the field. The next chance is tomorrow. The minutes that he gets, if he gets minutes, he needs to take to let quality speak for himself. The decision he took, we have to respect it. Don’t take it personally. Everybody has his own way to approach things. We are always proud if players play for their country, we always encourage them to play for their country. He decided to stay here, I think twice. He was super professional here to also have a possibility to impress us here and to maybe, from his point of view, to impress people here and maybe get a grip to his starting position at the moment. Fair enough. I hope nobody takes it personal. It is not to compare situation, this is the Callum situation. The way that this is.”

On enjoying the title race:

“Yes (you can enjoy it). If you are in the middle of it it shows you are in the right place. We work at a club that wants to be in the middle of title races. Nobody expected the title race to be decided in November. It is good news that we are in the middle of it but it is November. There is a long way to go and it will not help if we speak too much about it. We have to show consistency like Liverpool and Man City proved over the last years. It is on us now to prove we are capable of doing the same thing. Yeah, we want to be in the middle of the race.”

On Kai Havertz:

“He missed Germany’s game with Liechtenstein because of the injury he got vs Burnley when he was pushed over the line and into the spectators. He suffered from that and played the second match. He is in a good mindset and physically well so if nothing happens in training later, he is ready to go.”

“He will continue (his goalscoring form), no doubts about it because he has a good character. He has a good attitude and took the right step for himself to challenge him in the Premier League at a club like Chelsea. It is exactly the right choice to bring out the best in him. It simply needs its time. Grass does not grow faster if you pull it. He needs time. He is very ambitious so we want the best of him of course, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow but at the same time he is only 22. So maybe there are some years to come for him. If he will stay and fight for it like he fights for it now to adapt to the Premier League, to adapt to his positions, there will be goals and assists under his belt. This is sure. I have no doubts.”

On Antonio Rudiger & Andreas Christensen’s contract situation:

“Absolutely. Things are handled very mature, very respectful and very clear. Of course there are some delays with Toni and Andreas in the moment. Listen, for Andreas, from my point of view, everybody wants the same thing. The coach wants the same thing, the club want the same thing and the players wants the same thing. Obviously, I expect some good news in the next days. Every case is different. You can end up in situations like this but the situations are handled by all sides very carefully, very calm and very mature. So, during the process we can produce performances that we need to fulfil our goals. That is the most important thing.”


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