Thomas Tuchel has reassured Chelsea midfielder Saul Niguez to not worry about his place in the side, insisting his chances will come if he continues to work hard in training.
The 26-year-old signed on a season-long loan on Deadline Day in August but has yet to produce a convincing display after featuring just twice against Aston Villa in both the Premier League and Carabao Cup meetings.
Saul looked to be fourth choice when he arrived at Stamford Bridge behind N'Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho.
But Ruben Loftus-Cheek's impressive return, as well as Ross Barkley taking his chances given to him by Tuchel, Saul has started to slip down the midfield pecking order.
He was an unused substitute against Southampton however he was 'very close' to starting. Tuchel has offered reassurance to the Spaniard and has told the midfielder how he can get into the squad.
What Thomas Tuchel said
Speaking to the media following Chelsea's 3-1 win over Southampton, the Chelsea boss said: "He does not need to worry. Just work hard and adapt and the chances will come.
"We have only 11 to give a chance. I would like to see it in a positive way.
"If you turn it around of course you have eight players who we didn’t trust today from the beginning. This is a reality. I cannot hide from this reality.
"I will always do my choices in the best belief for the team and best belief in this moment and for these type of games. There will always be tactical choices and choices of current form and of connections on the field.
"Particularly about Saul, he was very, very close to start today. In the end I decided against him because I thought to put him in another high pressing match, an opponent pressing so high in the centre of the pitch, would it be fair to say 'okay, now prove it and let’s see if your adaption has gone further' and I hesitated a little bit.
"I have to take the selection and take the responsibility for the selection and eight players today did not like it. It is also life at Chelsea and we have to keep on going and keep everyone positive.
"The guys have to work for their form because form is most important – form and confidence and a positive attitude. He has everything."
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