Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has hailed Olivier Giroud's work in training in order to maintain his fitness and body shape following the forward's spectacular winner against Atlético Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
The 34-year-old started down the middle for the Blues against Diego Simeone's side and made the difference as he scored from an overhead kick to give Chelsea the advantage heading into the return-leg.
"He [Giroud] is always positive and it’s a big factor for the group. Whether he starts or is on the bench, he has all these qualities," said Tuchel, following the victory, as quoted by Chelsea.
The German manager added that the decision to bench the France international against Southampton at the weekend was in no way related to him starting against Los Rojiblancos.
Tuchel added: "We thought long about putting him in the team against Southampton. It wasn't a decision to create the possibility that Oli starts for us against Atlético.
"We analysed Southampton, a very aggressive team that attacks very high up the pitch. So, we expected more space behind and we wanted to have more key runs.
'In the end, I had only three changes [against Southampton], because that’s all that’s possible in our league, but I was not too happy with my choices in the game against Southampton and we missed the possibility to get more from the game."
Following the first-leg win against the La Liga leaders, Giroud has netted 11 times in 22 appearances across all competitions for the west London outfit so far this campaign.
With his current deal at Stamford Bridge set to expire this summer, his future at the club still remains in serious doubt with reports linking him with a move away from England at the end of the season.