Every word Thomas Tuchel said on Leeds, Alonso, takeover, Chelsea transfer plans, Haaland, more

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Every word Thomas Tuchel said on Leeds, Alonso, takeover, Chelsea transfer plans, Haaland, more

Have you had time to think about the takeover?

“After the end of the match [against Wolves] with a late goal – an equaliser – we had other things to talk and think about, unfortunately. Nothing has changed for us at Cobham, we are still waiting for the confirmation, for things to progress, to hopefully have news for you and for us, for the team, to inject some positive energy.”

Have you had the chance to meet Todd Boehly yet?

“No, not yet. Not at all.”

How important is the fact the takeover is nearing completion?

“We are the only club at the moment that suffers like this – may be the first club that ever suffered this. It is a situation that is unique and a situation that is quite challenging. Of course, everybody hopes for the situation to be clarified. These are steps in the right direction. We are waiting for it for a long time. We need positive energy and a competitive atmosphere at the club. It is very important for things to progress.”

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How much of a distraction has the takeover been for yourself and the players?

“It has for sure. There’s no sense in hiding from the fact that it is a distraction. It is a matter of to which level we can reach even if we are distracted or worried or disadvantaged by it. We did excellently until the international break, it had no effect in terms of results. It had almost the opposite effect. We felt strong during the difficulties and the announcement, the sanctions in place.

“Maybe something also very human and normal took place, in the moment of two weeks off or one week off with the players not here, there were different influences to them and maybe more thoughts to the situation in general. The situation is now very, very long and the players also want to feel competitive and know what’s going on next season.

“A player, a guy like Toni (Antonio Rudiger) decided to change the club. With every day it gets a bit more difficult, not impossible. We are still looking to reach the level and be competitive, win games. It is no excuse but for sure is a reason.”

How important is it to get clarity moving forward ahead of the summer transfer window?

“In the moment not. It’s a positive sign and it feels like it will come to an end and give us possibilities to act but at this very moment it is not like this.”

How annoying is it becoming that your team continues to throw away leads?

“That is always annoying. It will never stop being annoying. If you look at our results throughout the season, we have a decent amount of wins and not a high amount of losses but way too many draws. And a lot of these draws where we were in leading position.

“It was annoying because we thought we had it, I thought we had it. We had chances to score the third goal. We took a very offensive approach to the game, to inject energy, positivity, and fluidity into our attacks. We played a bit too open, allowed too many counter-attacks, too many chances – partly due to the approach we took.

“Partly because of the behaviour in the structure. Still, we were there. We were almost there until the 96th minute, we conceded with a very last shot. It is a tough one to swallow, always. Will never change.”

The bigger game this week is the FA Cup final…

“You say this? It’s true? Okay… I don’t know.”

Well, it is true…

“The biggest match is always the next match. Thanks for respecting my opinion!”

What are your thoughts that Liverpool have an extra 24 hours to prepare for the FA Cup final?

“We are used to it. We will not comment on it. Well, it’s… what is it? I am confused with the days. We play Tuesday to Saturday and Wednesday to Saturday. We would love one more day but we don’t have.”

It appears as though Erling Haaland is coming to the Premier League, what advice would you give to him?

“No advice. First of all, it’s not sure. No? And second of all, if he does not play for us I will not give any advice.”

Do you have a meeting planned to meet the new owners and do you know how much money you’ll have to spend?

“Absolutely not. Maybe if I had (information on money for the summer) I would not tell you! But I do not have so I don’t need to lie.”

How big a problem is the mental side of things been in your squad?

“We look a bit drained, tired mentally. When we look at our games from the sideline, this is understandable given the circumstances around the club in which we play, it is draining, it is challenging. We had some knockout games to play after the international break, with huge emotional input, and huge emotions to deal with.

“From losing to Real Madrid, winning at Real Madrid, losing the Champions League then suddenly being at Wembley and then suddenly in the race in two weeks with four matches against different teams in the Premier League. It is quite challenging. After all, we have a lot of matches in our legs, in our bones.

“We feel it. It’s another reason. I think everybody knows it, we can even feel it and still with being tired, distracted, maybe concerned, we need to reach a certain level which is possible. We can do better than we did in the last two matches. The positive thing is that I feel the will, the motivation.

“The motivation was very high to turn things around against Wolverhampton. You see the physical input was maybe too high in some situations where we even attacked with defenders, very high on the pitch, and opened space in counter-attacks. It was not a lack of motivation, it was the opposite. There were good signs. We trust the team, we trust our players and trust what brought us here. Now is the moment for me to stay calm, take it step by step and finish the season on a positive note.”

Are you more comfortable playing away from home at the moment?

“Not sure if anybody is comfortable tomorrow as we expect a pretty tough match and crowd. But yeah, it is like this. It’s a thing where we have no real solutions, no real explanation until now. We are aware of the fact we collected way more points on the road than at home. Maybe it helps us tomorrow a little bit, who knows. The final is also not played at Stamford Bridge so lets take it from there!”

What do you expect from Leeds United?

“It looks different (to reverse fixture). They even stepped up in their physical input, which is quite remarkable because we thought they already played on their top-level physical-wise under (Marcelo) Bielsa but they stepped up in terms of high-intensity runs, in terms of attacking. This is what we expect.

“They play a slightly different formation – not sure what they play tomorrow. They played against Man City in a back five and only played once. That was a very good match they played and the result does not tell you the story. I watched the match, they played very well in a 5-4-1. Otherwise, they play in a 4-2-3-1, they look very committed.

“In general, it is a fast team, a hard-working team, a talented team individually. This is what we wait for. This is a match for them, do or die, like a cup match for them. The atmosphere will be like this. I am looking forward to it actually. I have played there once but without spectators. It will be a big fight. The atmosphere and the surrounding will tell you instantly what is going on and we will feel it straight away. We need to step up.”

What improvements do you need to make to end your poor recent form?

“From the last match, it is pretty obvious. We took too many risks in our structure and were not disciplined enough in our structure. Our approach was already very offensive and very risky. Within the structure, we took too much risk. Our game management and management of situations need to be better.

“For the Everton game, we would have wished for more physical input. For the game against Manchester United, I would have wished for nothing more than more goals because we were excellent. Every match tells us a different story. That’s why it is a bit hard to put the focus on one thing. It is a bit up and down lately which we don’t like. We are on it on different things. For tomorrow we need to be spot on from first to last minute.”

Is the situation with Marcos Alonso resolved after the weekend?

“Started and ended in the first half. Was not continued at half-time. Nothing else. Things are solved. That happens.”

What was the reaction from the players after being called into training on Sunday?

“We planned a free day but after the disappointment – and it was not even to punish them – it was normally a free day and maybe some felt it was a punishment. It wasn’t. It was not the moment for a free day, it is better to be together and talk about it than to go and everybody has his own opinion, own truth. You have more risk to be in fragments than being here.

“We did very light training, had a run together, and discussed things, how to approach the next days. We brought everybody together to have the chance to be together. A lot of players supported the Under-23s on the other pitch which was very nice. That’s what we are. Very supportive, open-minded group of players. That’s what it felt like on Sunday.

“That’s what the Sunday morning was for, not to punish them or do a video session and show the mistakes or behaviour we could have done better. It was just to be together and not in different groups away from each other on a free day. That’s why we put everybody in.”

What’s the latest team news?

“We are fighting for Jorgi and N’Golo. It will be close and I don’t know if we will make it.”

Source by Football London

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