Thomas Tuchel is ready to prove he's the real deal by taking charge of Chelsea in the Champions League group stages and guiding the Blues into the latter stages of the competition.
The German took over at Stamford Bridge from Frank Lampard at the end of January this year which saw him enter the job when Chelsea were in the knockout stages of Europe.
He did the unthinkable and inside four months managed to guide his side to European glory.
Lampard oversaw the group stage success, finishing top of the group ahead of Sevilla, Rennes and Krasnodar. But the ex-Blues boss didn't get the chance to see out the competition after being dismissed.
Ahead of Chelsea's opener against Zenit St Petersburg on Tuesday, the beginning of their defence of the title, Tuchel was questioned over doing the 'final step' with his club, going the distance instead of joining in half way through the campaign.
He hit back, along the way praising Lampard who he succeeded. But he remains adamant he earned the Champions League title, and rightly so, and is ready to go the distance, from the beginning, this time round.
What Thomas Tuchel said
"It was never a problem for me to accept and totally accept the work from Frank (Lampard) throughout the group stage," Tuchel told the media on Monday.
"This is what I accept and it was the situation when I came in. It still feels like my title! Not like half a Champions League, I accept that he has his part in this. In the moment of the final I was responsible and during the knockout games. It felt in this moment that my team, we were together in all this. This doesn't mean we denied the work and effort that Frank did. Do we have the feeling that we have something, or me, that I have something to prove? No. It has nothing to do with it. Your question implies we want to win it again but we also have to accept how tough this is.
"Nobody is shy to admit that we want to win every competition that we play in so when we play Champions League we fight for the maximum outcome and this is tomorrow three points. It’s like this. We want to have a good start tomorrow. We need to start from scratch. Let’s see how long this journey takes us.
"Hopefully I can prove to you that I can make it all the way! No hard feelings so far, we go with the positive feeling tomorrow and this is very important."
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