‘Absolutely okay’ were the words Thomas Tuchel used to describe his team’s performance at Elland Road and the point we earned to extend our unbeaten away run.
It is now 10 clean sheets in 12 games since Tuchel arrived but as has been the case in some of those fixtures, breaking down the opposition proved problematic once again at Leeds.
Tuchel spoke after the game about his team’s work at both ends, the role of Kai Havertz in the side and, first of all, his reflections on today’s stalemate…
‘We could have won,’ started Tuchel. ‘We created enough chances and enough touches in the box to score one or two goals. Unfortunately, we didn’t, so we have to live with a draw.
‘The pitch was super hard to play on, slippery and bouncy. We had a couple of chances to go ahead that we didn’t take, and then Leeds put some pressure on us and they troubled us at times.
‘It was an absolutely okay away game against a team that put pressure on you. We found situations where we could escape the pressure, have high recoveries of the ball, but we were not clinical enough in our counter-attacks. We take a 0-0.’
Tuchel considered how to get the best out of his forward players
‘It will always be a team effort to attack and a team effort to defend. We have to admit we put a lot of pressure high up the pitch, our strikers never stop working or counter-pressing. Do they always arrive in the freshest moment? No, they don’t, of course not against an opponent like Leeds.
‘Still, I believe we have enough quality to use the chances and counter-attacks better to create more and be more clinical. This is my responsibility, but we could have won this game by one or two goals and we would talk totally differently about it.’
Mendy made a couple of superb saves
‘I was very happy with the clean sheet and it was a combination of good goalkeeping and good defending. I thought we could always be in danger because of the pitch, it was difficult to play on and very slippery with a lot of bounces.
‘But we were there to block everything and Mendy was there to save us on a couple of occasions with good saves. It was a good performance from Edou and he gives us confidence.
‘We are happy with the clean sheet but the boys are disappointed in the dressing room that we didn’t a win, which is a good sign to see from my players.’
Tuchel explained Kai Havertz’s current role in the side
‘He’s pretty much a nine, I don’t think he’s totally a false nine because he likes to play in the high positions. I feel him very comfortable there. He is able to drop into half spaces, turn and drive with the ball.
‘He doesn’t always want to drop deep into the 10 and for me his greatest strengths are that he loves to play high and arrive late into the box. He loves to be in the six-yard box looking for balls, looking for the last touch.
‘He can play a number of positions, like number nine today, and I was happy with Kai. Unfortunately, he could not finish like he does in training, he could have been the decisive guy again, but I trust him there.’