Rudiger on turning draws into wins and pushing for the top four

Toni Rudiger accepts a point apiece was the fairest result following our stalemate with Manchester United and has urged his team-mates to find the solutions which will turn draws into wins in the coming weeks.

The Blues are unbeaten in the month since Thomas Tuchel took charge but have drawn three of those nine matches, including the past two in the Premier League. 

While defensive improvements have been noticeable with just two goals conceded in that run, there has been frustration at our struggle to convert chances down the other end.

Finding that balance will be important if we are to finish the season strongly in the final dozen league games, alongside Champions League and FA Cup assignments, with Rudiger wanting more progress to be made.

‘It was an intense game,’ the German said of our 0-0 draw against United on Sunday afternoon. ‘Both teams had their chances so it was probably a fair result.

‘We could have done more and there’s a lot of things we can do better. At some points of the game we were a bit sloppy, we lost a few balls and the last pass or final decision was missing.’

Seven clean sheets in nine games has been an impressive start under Tuchel from a defensive perspective, with the switch to three at the back clearly paying dividends. Rudiger, who turns 28 this week, has featured in every game under his compatriot and feels the defence is more compact in the new system.

‘It’s about keeping our defensive shape, as we did over the past few weeks, and trying to do better in creating chances and scoring,’ he explained.

‘The way we set up has been good and we always try to play from the back. Things have been going good but there’s a long way to go and we have to keep improving.

‘We’re pleased with another clean sheet but it’s just one point. We have to take it and move on but I know we can still do better.’

The fight for a top four finish and the subsequent reward of Champions League qualification is set to intensify as we enter the final third of the campaign. The draw against the Red Devils took Chelsea to within a point of West Ham in fourth, with Leicester City a further four points ahead.

Liverpool, meanwhile, are a point behind us ahead of our meeting at Anfield on Thursday night, while Everton, Tottenham and Aston Villa are lurking with games in hand. Rudiger sees it as an open race, with meetings between the contenders likely to prove significant.

‘It depends on us,’ he added. ‘We still have a lot of games to play and also against direct opponents so the battle is still in our own hands.

‘What the coach has brought is his way of playing, detailed work and the defensive shape is very good at the moment.

‘Our aim is to arrive in the top four. We don’t need to look at Man City at this moment because they are far ahead but with the top four, everything is open.’

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