Thomas Tuchel addressed the media ahead of Chelsea's Premier League clash with Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday afternoon.
Chelsea play Spurs for the third time this month following Carabao Cup progression after a 3-0 aggregate win over Antonio Conte's side to reach next month's final at Wembley.
Tuchel will be hoping to make it three wins from three on Sunday as the Blues look to get back to winning ways to get their top four charge back on track.
Here's what the Chelsea boss had to say in full in his pre-match press conference:
On team news:
“We have a timeframe but we will not make it public (Reece James return) otherwise we will just get asked about the timeframe. He is back on the pitch which is good news but in individual training so far away from being part of the squad on Sunday’s game. Trevoh Chalobah is back in team training but also way too early to play the game on Sunday. Nobody is coming back, it’s the same squad.”
“We decided to give the two days off to reconnect but these two days will not solve everything. It’s good to have and after the Tottenham game we have the chance to give the majority of the players another days off because we simply need it. For Sunday, the two days alone are not the solution. We have to make sure we are in a different mindset, different attitude and top shape because we have a big match coming on Sunday.”
On Tottenham match:
“It’s a big game. Of course we can do our mathematics but it is strange to look at the fixture and seeing teams competing for the same area of the table but having four games less. This can lead you to a wrong impression that you are comfortably ahead, which you are not. The best chances to win direct competitions against direct opponents. It’s a London derby, a big rivalry. We know this. We play them now three times, the third in a very short period of time. They know what we do we know what they do. Things are clear. We managed to beat them twice, we will do everything to beat them a third time..”
On Romelu Lukaku:
“Yes (unfairly in the spotlight), welcome to reality. That’s it. We are in the spotlight, we are judged all of us and that’s daily business. It’s like this. If you are a decisive players, if things go very well, people talk about you. If not, the same people talk about you. This is part of the business, like it or not. Nothing more to say.”
On Ousmane Dembele’s situation at Barcelona and potential in Premier League:
“He is a very good player when he is in his top level. I am very fortunate to have trained him in my time at Dortmund. It was only one year, it should have been longer. I needed to leave and he decided to leave. From there we are not in closest contact, we met here and there because of his duties for the French national team and of course I was in Paris so this was more or less when they were preparing for national duties, it’s very close to Paris. This is where we met or exchanged some messages.
“He is in a situation (at Barcelona), I have no idea why or what the situation and detail is. I know how I feel about it when it’s about my players so it is better not to talk.”
On Andreas Christensen coming back from Covid:
“No. He is not with the team yet. We hope he is back in training next week.”
On Antonio Conte saying Chelsea are on a different level to Tottenham:
“You have to ask him. The last three results and last games was like this. We have to make sure it is a third time like this. Of course we should not get confused by this comment about the last matches and the ambition in which they will show up. He prepares his team to win and to beat us, that is very sure. That’s why it is not so important what he says about the last games..”
On Chelsea having a psychological advantage after winning League Cup semi-final:
“I don’t know. We play now three matches in such a short time which is pretty unusual, uncommon normally. That’s why I think they know what we do, we know more or less what they do. It’s again for us to show up in games like this. They come from a late victory, that fives them a boost. We come from two wins in the Carabao Cup, that should give us confidence. We play the match, it’s not about having advantages and being philosophical about it. It’s about delivering, being in the right mood and attitude to deliver a top performance..”
On Chelsea’s attitude not being right recently:
“Not for the couple of matches, just for one match in Brighton, not for a couple. We had a couple of good matches before and good results also. If we did not have the results, the match was good. The mindset and attitude was always on the level it needs to be. After the loss against Man City the gap opened up enormously for us, playing two games later on a Tuesday again. I could see and feel from myself and the team that some emotions took over, maybe frustration, maybe disappointment in whatever. It was hard for us on this particular day to reach our top level as a team. Whatever the top level means. We did not expect in general that we will play overwhelming, exciting match because there was a very strong opponent who has a style of play that makes you underperform sometimes. This was the very first time, when it happens for the first time we should not make a bigger deal out of it than it is. We had two days off now and two days to prepare to be ready on Sunday..”
On Romelu Lukaku’s form:
“I don’t know if I can explain it, it’s very rare in football that you have a situation or a problem with a one thing solution. It’s always a mix of a lot of influences. He was already more involved. He is struggling, here are reasons for it. We have already discussed them. He is not the only one which we rely on to win games. There is nothing special to it.”
On prioritising one competition over others:
“No. No. If you play, if you work for Chelsea, you give your very best on a daily basis and that guarantees that you come in the right shape, right attitude, right mentality to games. The moment when you start prioritising is the moment you lose track from what brings you to be part of Chelsea. Being part of Chelsea is being competitive every single day, with the right mindset and attitude. The next game is always the most important. Everything has huge influence. With me, we will never start prioritising. We will never start judging importance of games. We will select teams and make sure the process and atmosphere is right on the daily basis so we can increase the chances to win games. This is what we do..”
On Antonio Rudiger contract:
“You know how I was full of praise for him, well deserved. You know how important he is, I said many times. This is the importance he has, he deserves at the moment. The talks, negotiations are ongoing. No news. If we talk about the if, if it happens.”