Tuchel sets time needed to turn Chelsea into challengers

Chelsea have closed the gap on Premier League champions Liverpool so far this season to the extent we go into today’s clash with a point advantage over them in the table.

However leaders Manchester City are 21 points ahead having played a game more and in the three completed seasons since we were last crowned champions, we have finished 26 points or more behind the title winners.

Thomas Tuchel, whose challenge it is to overcome that deficit, has been talking about the prospects for doing so quickly.

‘The amount of points shows how big the gap was and still is,’ he begins, ‘and maybe sometimes it is good to look at the reality and speak it out loud, and still it has to be the ambition to close it as fast as possible.

‘We should at least try, and not prepare for excuses. It is not my nature and you can only push yourself to the limit if you don’t accept it from the beginning.

‘Will we close the gap to Man City this season? No we will not, this is not possible, but from next season on we start with zero points, all of us, and City were in trouble this season and nobody took advantage of it.

‘If it is proven anywhere then it is proven in sport that you can do an extraordinary step, that you can improve fast, that you can grow with a certain momentum if you catch the momentum.

‘Now we are challenging for the top four which was a big, big task when we stepped in because the gap was close and there are lot of teams to fight for that. From next year we will challenge for all titles, for all competitions. Sure!’