Thomas Tuchel addressed the media ahead of Chelsea's FA Cup fifth round tie against Luton Town on Wednesday night.
Chelsea head to Kenilworth Road to the Championship side with the winner progressing into the quarter-finals of the competition.
Two wins away from Wembley, Chelsea will be hoping to bounce back immediately in midweek after their Carabao Cup final to Liverpool on penalties at the weekend.
IMAGO / Paul Marriott
Here's what the Chelsea boss had to say in full in his pre-match press conference:
On Roman Abramovich:
“Of course it’s so much more important. The role of Roman Abramovich is not on me to comment because I simply do not know enough.”
On team news:
“Brilliant form (from Reece James) but now with a huge overload on his shoulders. The recommendation was 20 minutes before the match but it was over 70 with extra tension, extra pressure in a final against Liverpool. The situation is very good before the match with only Ben Chilwell out. The situation changed drastically in this match, we now have a lot of players with a physical overload. We have some injuries from the match. In the moment it is too much to comment, it’s a massive list. We need to see, we have training today. The physios, the doctors are working with the players. We are finding out and can take the last decision tomorrow morning when we have the departure to Luton and see who’s ready to play. We want to be ready to play. We suffered, the third time we played overtime. It was an intense match. This is where we are.”
On lifting the team after Carabao Cup final defeat:
“It should not be too hard to lift the team after Sunday. Everybody knows we played a strong match to our identity, with full commitment and a lot of quality. You can never control the result. A winner had to be found and it was found after 22 penalties. That tells the story. That should not be the problem. It’s only two days. We gave a day off to clear our minds. It was not only a disappointment but physically training, demanding. That leaves us with a one day turnaround to be ready for tomorrow. It’s another competition, that’s life at Chelsea. We want to be competitive, we want to be in different competitions so we have to be ready tomorrow. Is that always easy? Maybe not. This is what we do, what we demand. From me, myself and everybody around the team, last but not least from the players. This is where we are. “
On political distractions:
“You always start the question with the same sentence: ‘There’s much more important things than football, can you comment?’. You decide also to ask me about war. How often do I need to say it? It’s horrible. There cannot be any other opinion about it. That’s it. Why should we be more distracted than you at work? That’s what I mean when I said it in the first place. It’s out there. There’s more important things out there. This will never change. It’s about sports. There’s a lot more important things out there. Still, there is a huge distraction going on. We are worried. In the end we try and create an atmosphere to come to work, which is our passion. We are very, very grateful and privileged to have it and it’s not that big of a problem. Everybody in Europe has some noise in his head that nobody likes. Maybe the same for you but still you try to do your job as good as possible, the same for us.”
On message to the fans amid ownership rumours:
“I’m not so sure I’m the person to give messages to the fans. We try to be calm here, we are calm in the centre of a storm or some noise around us we cannot control. We are not responsible for it. In the end it’s best to stay calm and focus on what we love and what we do. This is sports. We have a right to focus on sports, the players have a right to be focused. This is what we can tell the fans, I think this is what the fans saw on Sunday. There is a big situation out there. A lot of commitment from the players of both clubs, from the fans. I think everybody is aware there are more important things. The situation in Ukraine is by far much more important than football. Still, there was a full stadium. Still, we arrived two teams, strong teams, who played a fantastic match. This is what we can do for the fans, to distract them and entertain them. To do what we do with maximum effort and commitment. I don’t see any other solution what we can do different.”
On further political questions:
“Listen. Listen! You have to stop. I am not a politician. Honestly, I can only repeat it. I even feel bad to repeat it, to talk about it. I have never experienced war. I am feeling very privileged, I sit here in peace. I do the best I can. You have to stop asking me these questions. I have no answers to you.”
On FA Cup chances:
“The best chance was on Sunday because we were in the final, it was the closest chance. We should not think about the next final until we played the next match. In football the most important match is the next one. This starts tomorrow evening and we have some obstacles to overcome and have some boxes to tick if we want to win there. We need the right motivation, again the right attitude, we need full commitment. It is demanding and still we expect it from us. Is it the easiest, closest, most realistic? I don’t know. Let’s see what’s going on tomorrow. If we want to talk about it we need to win tomorrow.”
On Hakim Ziyech and Mason Mount:
“Nobody deserves the blame for missing the chance. I’m happy I did not read any news about it. I can clearly understand that one person did not want to miss the chance very most, that’s Mason. You can be very sure about that. This can happen, it’s part of the sport – not every chance is a goal. We had huge chances, Mason had huge chances but he is fine, he did a strong match. He was in these situations, arrived in good timing and good positions – that is exactly what we wanted. We missed a bit of luck.”
“Hakim is not available for tomorrow. He feels still uncomfortable. He was not in team training today. He is one of the guys that will miss tomorrow.”
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