Thomas Tuchel has spoken about Cesar Azpilicueta and Callum Hudson-Odoi’s injuries ahead of Tuesday night’s meeting with Lille, a game the boss says his team must set the right expectation levels for.
In the wake of our last-gasp win at Crystal Palace, Tuchel acknowledged there is more plenty more to come from his players as we approach the business end of the season.
Focus now turns to Champions League football and our last-16 meeting with the French champions, the first leg of which is at Stamford Bridge. Tuchel has underlined what the Blues must do before that game.
‘We should not think too much of how others could see us as the favourites against Lille,’ said the boss.
‘We have to accept at the moment it’s a phase where things feel a bit tight and more difficult than other times. This is the situation for the match on Tuesday.
‘It’s important to be realistic and not over-expect from us, and accept games against midtable teams can become difficult. Once we accept that, it’s the first step to feel a certain freedom and become better.
‘We are confident of having a good performance because we deliver on a high level in knockout matches, cup matches, Champions League matches. We have the fans behind us. We go step by step, and we will ready to fight with them on an okay level.’
Tuchel was without a number of players for the trip to Selhurst Park, and although he doesn’t expect Mason Mount to be available for Tuesday’s game, he is feeling more confident about Azpilicueta and Hudson-Odoi.
‘We try to get them fit for Tuesday. Azpi has some groin problems and felt a pain in the last action of Thursday’s training.
‘Callum tried in training on Friday but also felt some pain around the Achilles. It’s a bit of inflammation and the pain was too strong.’