Cesar Azpilicueta has shared what Thomas Tuchel told the team during his first week as Chelsea head coach and discussed the importance of the players taking responsibility for improving results.
Tuchel joined the Blues on Tuesday, just 24 hours before his first match as our head coach against Wolverhampton Wanderers, and our club captain has revealed what the German has been telling his players over the last few days.
‘Since he arrived, he made it clear what he wanted from us,’ said Azpilicueta. ‘He said that he was very happy to manage this group of talented players, experienced players. We have a good mix of everything and he wanted to achieve the targets that we want, to do it all together.
‘We are halfway through the season, we still have lots to play for and we have our objectives, and we know playing for this club always requires high standards every single day. Obviously, we will try to do it all together.’
The Spanish defender was also clear that everyone at Chelsea still believes a top-four finish is possible, securing another season of Champions League football. However, he acknowledges achieving that goal will require improvement from the players, something he hopes will be helped by the added motivation of working with a new head coach and individuals starting from scratch in trying to prove themselves to their boss.
‘We have to try to be there and we know we have to keep improving. At the moment, we are not in the position that we should be. If we are where we are now, it’s because we didn’t deserve more until this moment, so we have to work hard, we have to work together.
‘We have a couple of days to prepare for the game against Burnley on Sunday and everybody is ready to fight and to give their best because we are excited to work with him and we have to give everything.
‘When a new manager arrives, we all have to be open, we all start from zero. We have to give everything and now we have an exciting four months ahead where we have a lot to play for and hopefully we can achieve what we want.’
Azpilicueta was quick to point out it is not all down the Tuchel and his coaching staff, though, with the players needing to take responsibility to improve results and fight for each other to succeed in the second half of the season.
‘Our job is to do the work on the pitch, to improve ourselves. We always have our responsibility, of course, because we are the ones who go on the pitch and we are not getting results,’ explained our captain. ‘We don’t get away from that and I know we have to improve and I know that we have to step up and give more because we are in the position where we can’t waste any time or any games.
‘We try to get into a better position, to get the confidence back, everybody together and we have to be a strong group. We know that every time we lose a game for Chelsea it means that we are not doing what Chelsea should do.
‘Everybody in the dressing room, we are all together and we are fully committed. The dressing room is strong and together to fight for everything.’