Interview

Jorginho on playing to our strengths

Jorginho says Thomas Tuchel is doing a good job of making the most of the players’ individual abilities and has discussed his midfield partnership with Mateo Kovacic.

Ahead of tomorrow’s match against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea remain unbeaten under Tuchel’s leadership and, perhaps just as impressively, have conceded just two goals in those eight fixtures.

According to Jorginho, that form in recent weeks is down to our head coach’s ability to identify the players’ strengths and find a system that makes the most of them.

‘I’m very happy because the team is doing very well, working hard, trying to understand what the coach wants,’ said the Italian international. ‘I think it’s the right way to move forward.

‘He understood the characteristics of the players and the way he wants to play is good for our characteristics. So he understood that and he’s trying to give us the advice and the right way to work and then the results are coming.’

One key factor in Tuchel’s system and our form under the German has been Jorginho’s midfield partnership with Kovacic, with the two starting together in all but one of our Premier League games since the head coach’s arrival in west London.

Jorginho himself has been enjoying playing alongside the Croatian international and, just like Tuchel, he says the success of the two players’ partnership is down to understanding each other’s strengths.

‘I have a very good relationship with him because we think the same way about football, we understand each other. We know what we want to do, what each other wants to do, so I find it quite easy playing with him because we think the same way.

‘We know who needs to be in that position in that moment so we leave space for each other in the right moment. We cover each other’s backs, we understand when we need to be close to each other and when we don’t.

‘That’s what I was saying when I said we understand each other and think the same way, we understand the right moment to close the space or find a one-two or just to give space for him to drive the ball, because he has the ability to do that. I know when he needs that space to drive forward or when he’s a bit in trouble and needs help.’

Only time will tell if Tuchel will choose to continue with that partnership in midfield when Manchester United come to the Bridge tomorrow, with N’Golo Kante continuing his return to full fitness.

However, if Jorginho does start again it seems there will be no lack of motivation for this big game, in which he believes a strong defense will again be key to our chances of victory.

‘Playing every game is very motivating, but when you have a big game like this it’s even more so. It will be a tough game, against a very hard opponent, it will not be easy.

‘I think the best way is always to defend well because when you defend well and don’t concede, then you can create chances because of the qualities of the group. We need to keep defending very well and then try to score when we have a chance.’

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