Thomas Tuchel has provided an update on the injuries suffered by Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner during our victory over Malmo, and insisted he has no regrets over including Lukaku in his line-up despite him needing to be replaced in the first half.
We defeated our Swedish opposition 4-0 on what should have been a near perfect evening for Tuchel and his team, but the victory was soured slightly as strikers Lukaku and Werner were both forced off with injuries before half-time.
Following the match, Tuchel filled in the media on the nature of those injuries, explaining Lukaku's was not related to the tiredness our head coach had spotted in the Belgian after the international break, and was purely a result of the challenge on him which resulted in the penalty our second goal came from.
'Romelu twisted his ankle when he was fouled in the box and Timo has a hamstring injury, so it will take a while for both of them,' said Tuchel. 'We need more examinations to be more precise but they will be out for some matches.
'It was necessary that Romelu was on the pitch, he started very strong. I spoke with him about the situation, that I think he carries a bit of a mental fatigue around with him, and that I think it’s also normal, but he’s our number nine, he’s our reference up front and the best thing against mental fatigue is a goal and we knew that we could be the dominant team.
'We knew today we built a fast attack with Mason and Timo around him, and him as the reference point up front in the middle, and I had a strong belief that he could in a Champions League match turn things around in terms of scoring and being decisive, which he actually did because he was super strong in our start and he took the foul, so maybe without him it’s not 2-0.
'I don’t regret it because it’s not a muscle injury and not from physical fatigue, he is more a little bit overplayed. That is just my opinion, maybe I’m not even right, and it was the moment to give him confidence and let him play. I don’t regret it because he was decisive and things like this can happen, it’s just bad luck.'
Tuchel also discussed the performance of those two players' replacements, Kai Havertz and Callum Hudson-Odoi, and the opportunity their absence could provide for others...
'There’s always a chance and it’s always necessary to prove a point now. We will have some games without Romelu, we will have some games without Timo, so everybody is invited to join the race for minutes on the pitch and when they’re on the pitch they need to show the hunger and the determination to be decisive, to be in the box.
'This is how it is and they did today and there’s still room to improve. On Saturday we need the same performance, the same hunger, the same determination from whomever starts for us because we need goals to win matches. We want to find solutions, but without Romelu and Timo that’s clear, and everybody joins the race to be decisive for us.'
Tuchel was more than happy with his team's performance and called for it to provide the template for our next match against Norwich City on Saturday...
'We will have to check now the data, we have to be very professional in recovery, because it will be an easy preparation. We will want the same performance again. This will be maybe one of the shortest pre-match meetings in my history of coaching because we want everything on the same level.
'We want the same energy, same amount of sprints, same deep runs, same ball wins and same effort. We have the chance to switch on some positions, to demand from everybody the same input, and then let’s see.'