It is domestic football all the way now for the coming months with the last international break of 2021 out the way and a full programme of matches ahead, beginning later today at Leicester.

With Chelsea going well in three competitions and two others yet to get underway, there is plenty to look forward to this campaign, and Thomas Tuchel is hoping our good start will stretch on to the degree where we will be considered as consistent as the like of Manchester City and Liverpool in recent years.‘I'm excited about it!’ declares Tuchel as he considers the season ahead and the title race.‘I'm excited that we are right now a part of it and we want to stay a part of it. I think that everybody around should be excited and proud of the league and its quality, and that every weekend anything can happen and you have more teams to challenge the top teams.

‘I don't even know if it's only three teams that are there [challenging for the league title]. There are some teams also at the moment behind us who show consistency, who show quality, who show determination. You are right to be proud of your competition here [in England], and for us it feels good at the moment in the middle of that race, and we want to stay in that race.‘I cannot predict the future so we focus on our game today.’

Hopefully the Blues return from the East Midlands with three points as with more wins naturally comes more confidence. Tuchel believes that having made big strides forward, his side has one major step more to take.‘We have proved over 90 minutes that we can close gaps and that we can beat everybody. This is the feeling that we want to create and constantly have on the pitch, that we are able to beat anybody and we're the team nobody wants to play against, so we can compete on any level.‘Man City and Liverpool did it over years and years. They challenge each other and push each other to an amount of points which was really impressive over the last years, and we have to prove we are like this. It will not be proven on Saturday or next week or at Christmas. It's a long way to go and we have to dig in and prove to ourselves that we can overcome obstacles and hard times.

‘When things get rough, you have to keep on going. It's the next step. Don't stop. Put one step after the other. There will be rain, there will be tough matches out there, there will be opponents who make our life not easy but we have to go through it and stick together, and hopefully in a successful way.’

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