Thomas Tuchel blames injuries and Covid for Chelsea’s ten-point deficit to Man City ahead of a crucial match.
The threat of Thomas Tuchel’s bold declarations about hunting down Manchester City may have faded, but Chelsea are still not ready to give up the chase.
On the eve of today’s lunchtime clash at the Etihad Stadium, Tuchel said: ‘We would love to be closer.’
‘We’d like to get more points.’
We are never happy when we fall short of our own expectations, and that is where we are right now.
‘At the same time, we have faith in each other.’
We’re still famished.
The season isn’t over yet.
We are not going to give up.
We’ll do our best to bring out the best in you.’
Tuchel qualified for his third cup final as Chelsea manager with a win at Tottenham in the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg on Wednesday, though he is not afraid to admit that the title is a prize he craves.
‘I’m not sure if we’ll be able to do it in 18 months; it depends on a lot of things, but I want to win the Premier League with Chelsea,’ he said.
‘It’s a resounding yes.
‘Will I be miserable for the rest of my life if we don’t succeed? Perhaps not, but I’d be furious with myself if we didn’t try.’
So we’ll try, and we won’t try to hide the fact that this is our goal.’
Tuchel’s side defeated Pep Guardiola’s three times in six weeks at the end of last season, culminating in the Champions League victory in May.
When they signed Romelu Lukaku and City failed to sign Harry Kane, a genuine title race appeared to be brewing between them and Liverpool. However, 11 wins in a row have put the champions back in front, putting them on track for their fourth title in five years.
Chelsea are higher in the Premier League table than when Frank Lampard was fired almost a year ago, but they are no closer in terms of points.
‘The most significant difference is that they handled injuries and the Covid situation better,’ Tuchel said.
‘Perhaps they’re lucky; perhaps they’re better at it.’
Less injuries to key players, fewer days off, and fewer weeks away from them.
They did not go through what we did.’
Mateo Kovacic was injured in training and was out for six weeks before returning after one day in training due to a Covid outbreak at the club, according to Tuchel’s argument.
‘Key players are key players because they have such a huge influence on your dressing room, on your team,’ explained Tuchel, who also mentioned N’Golo Kante and Thiago Silva as absentees…
Nokia News – Quick Recap
Chelsea travel to Manchester City sitting 10 points behind their title rivalsThomas Tuchel rued injuries and Covid when analysing why the Blues are behindBut the German boss claims his Blues side has not given up on the title race yetTuchel believes Pep Guardiola’s City have not suffered like his Chelsea side have