Thomas Tuchel addressed the media ahead of Chelsea's Premier League fixture against Norwich City on Saturday afternoon.
Chelsea host the Canaries at the weekend hoping to make it four wins in a row in all competition. They are currently top of the league ahead of Liverpool and Manchester City.
While Norwich, who will be without ineligible Billy Gilmour against the Blues, are at the other end of the table, bottom.
Tuchel's side will be hoping to continue their momentum against Norwich but will have to do it without attacking duo Romelu Lukaku (ankle) and Timo Werner (hamstring).
Here's every word the Chelsea boss said ahead of the match in his pre-match press conference:
On team news (Lukaku/Werner):
"To make the question a longer question, how is Christian Pulisic? All three of them are out for tomorrow. No big news for Romelu and Timo. They are out tomorrow and will be out for the Southampton game then from then we see what’s next. I don’t think it makes any sense that we go into speculations about how long this is going to be. If we did this with Christian Pulisic you would think that I am a liar, I am constantly lying or hiding something. The fact is you never know. Things can be shorter or longer than expected. The one thing I can tell you for sure is that they are both in treatment, feeling positive. They are out for the next two games for sure.
"It is never a good thing. I think this role as favourites that we have for some matches was the perfect role for Romelu to take pressure of other people’s shoulders, to take the responsibility. He was mentally and is a bit overplayed so like other players in our squad. That does not mean we have to constantly rest them. Jorginho, for me, is in the exact same spot. Mason Mount too. They played and played a fantastic match. It is like this, they played a lot of competitions. They played the competitions with a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of personal targets. This is what we felt with Romelu so we encouraged him to trust his instincts and let us do the thinking and the organising of the structure that he will be able to have the last contact, this is what we did for the Malmo game. In our role as favourite I think he would be absolutely crucial for us. Honestly, like I said after the game, we cannot talk about who is injured. We have to find solutions and we will find solutions because we trust our squad. The guys who stepped in did a good match and it’s on them to keep on going tomorrow.
"That worked very well, me saying I don’t want to talk about injured players! Anything I say now would be pure speculation. I can say to you, yes I expect to see him but then we don’t see him so what sense does it make? Tomorrow he isn’t with us and that’s what counts. He gets our full support. Same as Timo, same as Christian because we want to have a full squad but sometimes accidents happen. It was an accident with Romelu and Christian. Sometimes the situation with Timo happens. It sounds maybe harsh but from there it is about the players."
On regrets letting Giroud, Abraham and Batshuayi leave:
*laughs* "No, no. Football does not work like this. You cannot keep a squad of 40 players. Do you think Tammy, Oli and Michy would be in perfect shape now? If they hadn’t made the 18 man squad in the last weeks they wouldn't be in shape. In theory it would be like this but in real life you have to focus on 19, 20 or 21 players. This is what we do. Nobody wants this to happen, it is a lot of bad luck that we have two injured players in the same position. We have to find solutions and we will find solutions. There is no worry about that. There is no worry about the decisions we did."
On considering false 9 before Lukaku’s injury:
"Well it depends. Without Romelu we thought we can play with Timo or Kai as a number nine. You maybe call it a false nine, for me not so much because Kai is also very strong in the last line and behind it and arriving in the box. For me it is a big strength of him. When he plays a number nine we want this and he did against Malmo. So this is what we expect from him tomorrow. If you buy Romelu and have Romelu in your squad, you have your number nine and he is the reference up front to create some spaces and half spaces from second line. Once we don’t have him the game will be a bit different but in the end we want the same power, the same amount of people in the spaces, in our opponents box when we finish our attacks. It does not change."
On Havertz’s mentality:
"To speak the truth, there is only one way to make it to the pitch and that is performance. There is no other way. There never was, there never will be. Kai was not on the personal highest level, other people were closer to their highest level and we were winning. It was now necessary that he waited for some matches because we felt other guys were in better shape so we did what we needed to do. He worked hard and showed some resilience and some compassion and determination to score and be more decisive in training and then he got some minutes against Brentford and now it was necessary he played 70 something minutes and he scored. There is so much talent, so much potential and he needs to show it. He gets the minutes he deserves. There is only one thing to make it to the team, performance."
On Daniel Farke:
"I like him a lot, first of all as a person. He is a very nice and humble person. He was coach of the second team when we were at Dortmund, there I met him. It was very nice to watch training sessions from each other, have a close exchange and talk about players. He is a very good manager in terms of also people management. I would have liked to be a player under him because I can imagine he gives you a lot of confidence and a lot of trust. Listen, I’m super happy that he made it on the highest level. He played in the Premier League twice now with the same club which shows they trust him and not only judge by a few results which is a very good thing. It speaks for himself. I hope that we can have the better end tomorrow. We will do everything to win against him. He is doing a fantastic job and hopefully he knows."
On Farke’s Gilmour comments and potential recall:
*Laughs* "I love Billy in general, I always loved him. It was a big factor. Even maybe he wasn’t in the full spotlight in the half season. He decided to go to get some minutes, it is important. First of all I want him to perform. How you make it in our team is by pure performance. If you decide to go on loan it is as simple as that. I don’t think it’s harsh, you need to perform. You need to be on the pitch, to be the top player no matter where you go, if you want to make it back here and improve your status. He is our player, we love Billy and are very aware of what he can do but changing a club is always a huge risk. It can also seem positive. He needs to overcome adversity and now is not the time to think about coming back. It is time to fight for his place and show what he can do. We trust him and he can play a role. Of course, nobody is obliged to let our players play but no coach in the world will leave the best players out so that’s what he needs to prove, that Norwich is a better team with him. I trust he can do it and hopefully he does not lose this trust in himself and can turn things around again."
On Lukaku’s challenge/injury giving him a rest:
"The body did not demand this break, it was not a muscle injury it was an accident so I don’t follow this argumentation. It is not like, like I said, the body collapsed and he had a muscle injury and forced to take a break he did not want to have. It is just some percentage. Please don’t underestimate the effort these players go through. They go to the national team, they have preparations when they go to the national team then they go to the Euros. He has high expectations, then disappointment, then he has a quick break, then a change of clubs, then the next national break, then suddenly Nations League, he then has the pressure on our shoulders, then he wants to be the top dog at Chelsea and we want him to be the top dog. There’s a lot of things going on and at some point you get tired. If you constantly turn the wheel, the guy who wants to turn it and be the top dog and take the responsibility - you can get tired! I’m talking about three, four, five percent maybe. Suddenly you don’t have the same enthusiasm, it lacks a little bit. There is no major problem. These little things can make the difference. Speaking about it sometimes helps, I have the feeling it helps and we can simply admit it and admit also there is no major problem. We left him on the pitch and I felt him very, very happy to be on the pitch when we took the decisions before the Malmo match. I felt him totally into the match and we told him to trust his instincts, luck will come back and we will create chances for you. I cannot see a positive thing in this injury. We will now do what we can do, make him come back as soon as possible, treat him in the best way possible, be positive with him and at the same time we need to push the guys that are here."
On Ziyech’s role and absence:
"First of all, he fought his way into the team and was in the team at the beginning of the season because of performance. It was so obvious in pre-season that he had to be on the pitch. To start from there, he was on the pitch. He scored and had the injury in the Super Cup game. From there I felt it cost him a lot because, maybe even until today, I don’t feel him 100% free with his shoulders. Surely when we played him and made him play 90 minutes, we also started him after that in the Champions League and Premier League. I felt that even if it’s maybe no pain, it could be subconscious. There is something that limits him in his movement and freedom to move and turn, accelerate and decelerate. I think we need time and patience, he needs to fight his way back into the team. That is the way it is. We were looking for the spot whilst he was out, other guys performed and came in and performed straight. He is one of our players. We will never lose trust or patience with him, he will stay an important player I am sure."