The club is giving support to Reece James following a break-in at his house Thomas Tuchel has confirmed, and he suggests the young player will be benefiting from the build-up to a big game like the one this weekend as something to take his attention away from the disturbing incident.
James revealed on social media this week that while he was playing at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, burglars were stealing a safe containing his Champions League and Super Cup winners’ medals and his Euro 2020 runners-up one from his home, and he even posted security camera video of it, adding:
‘Luckily no one was present during the break-in but I want to let you all know I am safe and well.
‘These medals were won representing Chelsea and England, honours that can never be taken away from me whether or not I have the physical medals to prove it.’
Tuchel was asked to comment during his media conference looking ahead to the big London derby at Tottenham on Sunday, and responded:
‘It was pretty shocking to all of us, to hear the news and then to see the footage. It's a given that we support Reece. The club is very supportive and we are supportive emotionally.
‘Sometimes it helps to focus on something else, and that not everybody tries to help you and wants to talk with you about it again and again and again.
Sometimes it helps to keep the focus on the game and on training and what you have to do, that’s the best distraction. But it's clear that everybody supports him.’
Having played the full game against Zenit in the Champions League, James, plus the rest of his team-mates, have since Tuesday to recover from that match and prepare for Sunday’s outing, while Spurs played away on Thursday night in the UEFA Europa Conference League.
‘It's good,’ said Tuchel on his own team’s gap between fixtures.
‘I like it because after a day off, which was good for us, we still had one recovery day yesterday and we have two training sessions where we can prepare physically and tactically, to improve exactly what we want to improve.
‘It's very rare, so it's good for us, but is it an advantage? I think if you go into statistics, over the years I think you will not find any advantage if a team has one or two days more off. Sometimes it's good to stay in the rhythm. It depends, but for us in particular it was good to have the four days.’