N’Golo Kante changed the game, how important is he?
He convinced me yesterday to be on the bench which was very nice to see but not only from him, from the whole squad as well. Everybody was pushing to be on the bench or to be involved in the squad. Nobody gave me the slightest feeling that we would like to have a pause. It was very nice to see.
N’Golo convinced me that he prefers to be on the bench and play some minutes instead of a full rest. We agreed on that in discussion with the play but in checking all his data for the last weeks. He had trained light for 20-25 minutes and I’ve praised him so many times. Of course he makes the difference because he’s a very very special player. I’ve said it 100 times, and can repeat it another 100 times, there are no more words, it is outstanding quality that helps every team in the world.
You said last week it was nice to watch English football when you had the week off, now you’re actually having to do it, it’s not ideal circumstances to be involved in it?
It’s of course for us the same situation as anybody else. We have concerns because we are not only football players and coaches, we are fathers and family members. So we are also concerned and have our doubts and fears in uncertain situations which is not nice.
We are privileged to do our job and to do what we love the most and be involved in football. It is a kind of in-between. I am very impressed how the team takes it.
You know the situation was different when we arrived in Wolverhampton and had the seven positive test in three days with Jorginho. We had the feeling we had an outbreak, we wanted to win some time to deal with it mentally and to settle down the team.
That was not the case. We live with it and we try to be as supportive as possible and we will never forget how privileged we are and how much we love what we do and are still able to do it. It’s mixed between all of it.
On this occasion I would love to push for five substitution as five substitutions were made to protect the players when corona popped up and made life difficult.
I think the situation is very serious and very demanding, very challenging so for the health of the players if we decide to keep on playing, at least we should have five players to control the load.
Will Christian Pulisic have gained confidence from his performance against Brentford?
It is good to have minutes for him. Is it his very best position where he feels most comfortable? Maybe not. It is the way at the moment but he is very positive about it and he is fighting for his confidence and for the flow. While he is fighting we’re supporting him.
For Hakim I don’t know, it’s very painful. He got a kick and it’s very painful so not a lot of time until Aston Villa.
Andreas got an injection and is also very painful in the lower back. So bad news that we’ve struggled with the same things for several days now and of course we want to be competitive at the same time. Not easy but we try to stay positive and arrive at Aston Villa with full commitment to the competitions.
Chelsea are in the semi-final of the domestic cup, the knockout stages of the Champions League and third in the league. It must be a lot happier in the Tuchel household this year than last?
Yeah, and I’m very confident that I survive Christmas in my job this year. We’re in a fine place, we’re not fully happy with the results we had in the home games. I really focus on the home games Burnley, Everton and Man United where it was not necessary. We were more unlucky than anything else so we are not fully happy with that but we are confident and we have the right to stay confident. We are competitive, we struggle with a lot of injuries in key positions, we struggle with Covid in key positions. The team is a great team, the club is a top club and happy to be part of it.
We will keep on pushing and I am happy to be involved on Boxing Day for the first time