After watching his team put in a professional performance against National League outfit Chesterfield to advance to the fourth round of the FA Cup, Thomas Tuchel explained why the Blues did what he asked of them and also assessed debutant Lewis Hall’s performance.
A strong Chelsea starting line-up scored four first-half goals to ensure there was no chance of an upset at Stamford Bridge, with three of those arriving in the opening 20 minutes of an enjoyable FA Cup tie in west London.
‘I’m happy with the attitude and how we started,’ said Tuchel.
‘We started strong and decided the match very early. This is what we wanted.
‘At 5-0 we had a lot of changes in some crucial positions, and had some players who lacked a bit of rhythm and confidence in the position they were playing. So the last 20 mins I would have wished for a few more chances and more clinical finishing, but okay, the job is done.’
A number of his squad had the evening off, with Tuchel using this tie as a chance to give some of his overused players a chance to recover.
‘We have tough matches coming up,’ acknowledged the boss.
‘It is a different level of intensity if you play Premier League teams or against a fifth division team. It was important to share the minutes and give some players rest to be in the best shape possible for the upcoming games.
‘Let’s see. We have to constantly adapt because the situation can change any day with the testing, and from there we go.’
Hall impressed on the left side of a back three. Aged just 17, he set up Romelu Lukaku’s goal and also had the shot which led to Andreas Christensen’s header. Tuchel explained why the Academy graduate deserved to start.
‘It was his performance in general, his attitude in training and the quality he showed. He was very calm, very good in training in our possession games and small-sided games.
‘He deserved to start. We needed a pause for Toni and Azpi and Marcos in defence. We had three defenders left and he was one of them.
‘It is very clear what we demand from the players,’ added Tuchel.
‘The position helps them. It is a very supportive dressing room, with a very supportive attitude from the more experienced players. This is very good for the young boys. In the end they have to step up and show what they are capable of.
‘They did good against Brentford, the guys who played, and today they did their best to help us win. There is no need to talk it down, and there is also no need to get super overwhelmed.’