Thomas Tuchel is hoping our win over West Ham United will help begin to rebuild the confidence of his team as we put a difficult start to the season behind us.
Chelsea had to be patient and work hard while displaying plenty of mental strength to come back against West Ham after going behind despite dominating possession for the first hour.
Thankfully goals from Ben Chilwell and Kai Havertz turned things around to give us a deserved win, despite a late scare as the visitors had a goal ruled out following a VAR review, and Tuchel feels that could be a big confidence boost for his side after a match which followed the pattern he expected, despite the late drama.
'I see this all the time when I analyse West Ham, this is what they do,' explained Tuchel. 'They make you underperform and make the game slow. They make it so difficult for you to accelerate the game, to find open spaces.
'If you find them it’s just for a short moment and maybe in spaces where you cannot be dangerous. This is what they do, they defend with bodies, they defend with physicality. It is very hard to create chances, create half chances, even deliveries. It is almost impossible to come back once they are ahead so the task became more and more difficult for us.
'We did not play with maybe the biggest self-confidence and the biggest belief, which I can understand given the last results and nobody was angry at our players. I just tried to tell them to keep believing and find maybe a better understanding for where the rhythm goes, for where we can maybe create an overload.
'It’s really hard to play a really attractive game against them because they do what they do very well. To turn this thing around maybe it needed almost to be a goal down and have nothing to lose any more.
'We wanted to restart the season today and hopefully the way we did it in a home game and with the impact from the bench gives us the belief back, the confidence back that you need to play at the highest level.'
Tuchel gave his verdict on Chilwell's sharpness as he continued his return from injury with a goal and an assist off the bench...
'I think he has the full fitness you can have from training and pre-season matches. Of course you can also feel fitter and be fitter with consecutive matches in the Premier League.
'In my opinion he lacks the rhythm and he lacks a good feeling for the game. This is what I see in training. The player always thinks he’s ready, I think there are still a few things missing.
'He started for us at Everton, he came on against Southampton, he came on today and had a huge impact. This is what we want from him. The wing-back position is his best position in my opinion. He gives a lot of energy, runs and deliveries. So I’m very happy because these things happen like nothing else.
'Much more important than any training or talk with me is that he feels it and he experiences being back on the pitch and being decisive.'
Our head coach was disappointed to concede from a set-piece again...
'It’s strange, we invest a lot of time in it and there are not a lot of changes going on. In contrary, we are even investing a bit more in details and set-up and time.
'Maybe it is just a faze. Maybe it’s also down to talent. With Wesley Fofana we have somebody who can help us a lot. We did not have Kai today on the pitch who is normally one of the best for first contact. We took that kind of risk because we wanted to have small strikers on the pitch today.
'We struggle to convert our set-pieces into chances. We struggle with the delivery and with the repetitive quality in set-pieces and conceded again from a set-piece. But we are on it.'
He also discussed the injury suffered by Mendy late on and the goalkeeper's recent form...
'He was in a lot of pain, we have to see, it’s too early to comment on it.
'I think he’s at the moment a bit unlucky. In training he’s fantastic, he’s in general a very calm, very self-reflective guy who is aware that he lacks a little bit of luck at the moment. Things do no go in his favour. He has situations where if it’s not 100 per cent clear because of his actions he gets punished massively.
'He’s just in this moment, it feels like it’s not so much his fault. I have a feeling that he tries everything, he’s very focused and we will keep on supporting him.'