Thomas Tuchel insists Chelsea “don’t have bad performances” despite winless week
Chelsea lost to West Ham in dramatic fashion last weekend before drawing with Zenit in the Champions League in midweek but despite the morale-sapping form Thomas Tuchel isn’t worried
Thomas Tuchel believes Chelsea’s average displays would be worse if his players were wearing the shirt of a lesser club.
The Blues have been eased out of top spot by Manchester City after losing at West Ham last weekend. Zenit St Petersburg then denied Chelsea a midweek, morale-boosting victory in the Champions League on Wednesday night with an injury-time leveller.
But ahead of his side’s home game in the Premier League against Leeds, Tuchel believes the setback are only a cause for concern because the European champions’ standards are back to being so high.
“I don’t think that we have bad performances,” he said. “We have good performances. We have average performances, but average can look sometimes horrible if you wear a Chelsea shirt, because it’s not enough.
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“This is the truth. And this push is sometimes annoying. Sometimes it’s frustrating because everybody wants to be you on top top level on time.
“It is stressful. This fatigue is not always very pleasant. But that’s reality.”
Chelsea have managed just three wins from their last seven games in all competition heading into the busy Christmas period.
Tuchel is also still without long-term injury victims Ben Chilwell and Trevoh Chalobah while Mateo Kovacic is continuing to self-isolate.
But the Blues’ boss is expecting N’golo Kante to be back on Tuesday.
He added: “We are always worried when we have to live and play without N’golo because he is a unique and exceptional player all over the world. “You cannot find a second N’golo, of course, so I am worried but I would be worried if he was just missing for a few days.
“We hope he comes back on Tuesday to team training.”
With fears over Covid running rampant through the Premier League once more, Tuchel revealed his side took Covid tests in the middle of the night after their return from Zenit on Thursday.
“We had a lot of tests for our trip,” he said. “To make it to Russia and to make it back. And today another one. We were tested straight away in the middle of the night when we arrived.
“Sometimes it’s not the nicest thing to do but I was impressed with the way it was organised, also with the patience that everybody – the whole staff – took with it, to be there in the middle of the night and wait for the PCR tests to be taken.
“That tells me that everybody is aware of the situation. It’s not a joke, it’s real and we have to live with the consequences, and do the best possible to protect us and others.
“So we are aware of the situation, we are aware that we are still blessed to have our job and not to be affected.”