Tuchel praises Blues' raised levels and updates on Kovacic injury

Following the disappointing results against Everton and Wolves, Thomas Tuchel and his squad had worked hard on improving several important aspects of their play with crucial games coming thick and fast, and our head coach was very pleased he saw that come to fruition in Wednesday night’s 3-0 win at Leeds.

The Blues were off to a blistering start – 1-0 up inside five minutes – before adding two more after the break and taking the three points. It put us on the verge of Champions League qualification and lifts confidence ahead of Saturday's FA Cup final.

‘We needed to step up, there was a reason why we conceded goals and we did this as a team,’ analysed Tuchel before departing Elland Road.

‘It was nothing new that we did today but we did it on a much higher level of focus and discipline than in the last matches.

‘We played very, very well from the very first minute and I was very happy with the level of focus and the level of determination and the level of support that we showed. We were strong in the challenges, we were brave in defending, we supported each other so I was very happy with the performance over the whole 90 minutes.

‘We were very strong when it was 11 versus 11. The focus shifts a little bit when you are one man more on the pitch because we get easier ball possession, but at the same time the level of focus needs to stay high and we needed to be very disciplined and not allow counter-attacks, because Leeds will never stop running and fighting.’

The reason Leeds went down to 10 men in the first half was due to a red card shown to Daniel James for a foul on Mateo Kovacic. Tuchel spoke of the midfielder now needing a miracle to play at Wembley this weekend, indicating he would have been a starter there.

‘I tell you not as a coach and not as an expert but for me it is very unlikely [Kovacic will be fit]. He played in the Carabao Cup final and the semi-final of the FA Cup with the same injury and he tried to play more minutes here, but it was almost impossible so he came off and he has a swollen ankle and is in a lot of pain.

‘We need to wait for the examination but it is very unlikely and that is absolutely bad news for us of course.’

Better news was another goal for Romelu Lukaku who added a late third to Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic strikes. It is the Belgian’s third goal in two games.

‘I am happy that he scored again,’ said Tuchel. ‘He wanted to stay on the pitch to get his goal and I am happy also for Puli and Mason that we were decisive with the offensive players. It is important for them and it gives them confidence.’

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