Ahead of today’s derby at Brentford, the boss has answered questions on one striker’s run of form, whether there is any chance two defenders could play, and he was asked for thoughts on the game’s referee…
Timo Werner returned to Chelsea this week off the back of two impressively struck goals for Germany, in a 4-0 World Cup qualifier win in North Macedonia. In his most recent outing for his club side, he netted to restore the lead in our eventual 3-1 win over Southampton.
Ahead of the 25-year-old’s potential next outing today, Thomas Tuchel considers the question of whether it is imperative the player has the opportunity to continue to build on this recent success.
‘With strikers, you feel sometimes that's a little bit like this,’ the boss acknowledged, ‘that you keep them on the pitch and keep the momentum going.
‘It is about the actual form, it is about confidence and it's about the moment. We have so many games that normally we cannot wait for players to re-find their full potential. Normally we want to have the guys on the pitch who are actually in shape, with confidence and with a certain momentum.
‘What we have to reflect on is that when Timo was not here he did a very good match, and he scored against Southampton and that should give him a lot of confidence.
‘But that was two weeks ago so on Friday we showed some pictures from the Southampton game. It feels a bit weird because this game is so long ago and the guys played two or three other matches in between but it was our last match, so you show certain behaviour from the match and you want to reconnect with that feeling, but it's not that easy.
‘So hopefully for Timo it is the same, he needs to restart against Brentford. And when he gets a chance to start he needs the same kind of performance as against Southampton, and from there on we go.’
Tuchel has confirmed Reece James is fit enough to start if needed after he missed England’s games with an ankle injury, but having yesterday indicated Thiago Silva is unlikely to be involved due to a return to England later than anyone else after the internationals, our head coach has gone into more detail.
‘After he came back on Friday, Thiago needed to go to be isolated. It would be possible to let him play in theory, and if he didn't play [the last game for Brazil] we could have maybe thought about it, but the facts are he played 90 minutes, he has 12-hours travel, he was not part of the team meeting or tactical training yesterday, so I don't think this is the moment to take the risk and play him.’
Today’s game is to be refereed by Anthony Taylor and in the build-up media conference, Tuchel was asked directly whether he is happy with that appointment of official after some games with the same ref in charge that have not had a favourable Chelsea outcome.
‘I trust in the referees and I trust in Anthony Taylor that he will try to have the best performance,’ Tuchel responded.
‘Here in Cobham and in the club we cannot get lost in ideas that there's something behind it. We have to make ourselves free from this and do what we need to do to be able to win this match.
‘Do we need a top referee? Yes. Do we need good decisions from VAR, or maybe no decision from it? Yes. Do we need a little bit of luck? Yes. And hopefully we can turn things around with Anthony Taylor.’