Thomas Tuchel saw his Chelsea team fight to a late 1-0 win at Crystal Palace and was pleased with the result given the quick turnaround from our time abroad, but knows there is big room for improvement in the side.

We had to wait until the 89th minute to get the winning goal through Hakim Ziyech, after the same player had earlier had a goal disallowed by VAR, and a combination of determined opponents and terrible weather in the aftermath of Storm Eunice forced the Blues to work hard for the three points at Selhurst Park.

That left Tuchel in no doubt that there is a lot more to come from this team than we saw today, even if he was pleased to have got the win and restricted Crystal Palace's chances to a minimum at the back.

'I know that we can play better, I know that we want to play better,' he said. 'We were at least solid defensively, we were disciplined.

'We told the team at half-time not to lose faith and to keep on going like in a cup game, maybe this one chance will come again and it is decisive. Keep on believing, don’t do crazy stuff and don’t take risks to allow transitions for the opponent.

'The first chance we allowed Crystal Palace was a clear foul on Christian, and okay the last one is in added time when we can defend better, but it was the only chance. We have a clean sheet and it is not the first 1-0 we have.'

Tuchel felt the fact we had only been back in the country for less than a week following our victory at the FIFA Club World Cup meant this game was always likely to be difficult...

'We came from 30 degrees heat and had six players with a cold from the air conditioning on the plane, guys coming from the jet lag that they had in Abu Dhabi, there was no player who slept well in Abu Dhabi because of the temperature and the time difference.

'If you think we had a normal week to prepare I can just tell you it is not like this. We try to survive at the moment and you can see it. There is a lot of pressure going on if you go to the Club World Cup and if you want to win it for Chelsea. The players put a lot of pressure on themselves and we didn’t play in the Premier League for four weeks.

'It’s a huge, strange mix of a lot of reasons why I personally did not over-expect today performance-wise. Then we had some issues yesterday in training that meant Azpi and Callum went out from training. So this is where we are and it is like this.'

He also believes games like this are something everyone has to go through at some point in the winter, with the three points in these cicumstances able to give his players a boost going forward...

'I think that every team in a season like this will have games like this, especially in December, January and February when the conditions can really cause huge adversity on top of the strength of the opponent. If we played this game again it would be very possible that we have another draw and then we talk about it even longer.

'So if you win it late, or however you win it, you have the chance to move on and forget it and take the positive energy out of it and take it into the next game. You don’t have to think about it too much and you don’t wake up tomorrow thinking “could we have done better” or “should we have scored there”.

'We did it and in the moment this is very important for us to reinstall a bit of more freedom and fluidity into our game. We look a bit drained, a bit exhausted. You can see that we try hard and everyone is looking for the flow, but in the moment we struggle, which is not a bad thing because everybody wants to be a part of it. Everybody gives his very best but we struggle a little bit and for that reason it’s very important to win and to have a clean sheet and we keep on going.'

He went on to discuss our chances of catching second-placed Liverpool in the Premier League table...

'Unfortunately we don’t play them again. They look very strong at the moment. It is what it is and they got a huge player in the winter to make their squad even stronger.

'We will not give in, I will not tell you today that it is impossible to catch them, but there’s no other way than to improve our game, to improve our style and to win game after game after game, to start winning in consecutive games.

'There’s no need to look to Liverpool or Man City or look behind, we have enough to deal with, we have enough to improve and that’s where we start from.'