Thomas Tuchel’s Full Pre-Southampton Press Conference

🔹Thomas Tuchel on Romelu Lukaku: “It’s not only for Romelu who is lacking shape at the moment after national break. We all lack sharpness and shape. A lack of form individually, affects the group of course. He had one big chance, nothing helps more than goals. It would’ve been a huge boost for him. He really did [take care of training in last few days]. Hopefully he comes back to training with no pain to be available for tomorrow.”

🔹Thomas Tuchel on finishing in top four: “Absolutely confident, but it’s not a given.”

🔹Thomas Tuchel: “At the moment we are in place number three. It’s a tough competition until the last day. Do I feel confident? Yes. Do we feel this is a given? Absolutely not, but it never felt like this.”

🔹Thomas Tuchel on N’Golo Kante’s struggles (1/2): “I don’t know. I can’t answer the question. It can be an ongoing debate, nobody knows. N’Golo is a key player, outstanding and unique qualities, that can give something to the team nobody can. He struggles with consistency due to injuries, illness. This is also a reason in our bit for inconsistency, we missed him for so many matches.”

🔹Thomas Tuchel on N’Golo Kante’s struggles (2/2): “Now he’s fasting due to his religion so maybe another reason. For many days if you don’t drink/eat during day, it can have an effect. He’s used to it, but it could be part of the explanation to not be on the highest level.”

🔹Thomas Tuchel on defensive struggles: “A lack of confidence would be very surprising. First match we were 1-0 up, then suddenly the goals were very different that we concede. We defended the last matches in a back four, to not be pinned with too many people in the defence. Anything can have an influence. I don’t have one answer. Some of the goals are individual behaviour, little groups, and determination/investment in defence – how many sprints. Sometimes if you’re not protected, if you don’t win it here, we lose a goal. Maybe we had this mentality, every little challenge matters.”

🔹Thomas Tuchel on Edouard Mendy: “It’s life as goalkeeper on a high level. It’s a special position in football. You are in the spotlight. When you are so successful like Edou, you are even more in the spotlight. He was never fully free of mistakes. We helped him better, sometimes more lucky. Of course he can solve this situation much better, he knows. It’s a bad timing to do in a match like Real Madrid. I hope it does not affect his self confidence too much. It’s about accepting and living with mistakes, to refocus, stay calm and confident. Now he can prove he is a true champion.”

🔹Thomas Tuchel: “I felt like we gave a huge opportunity away, it’s not normal to play #UCL quarter-finals. Huge night, not at our best level. That’s why we were disappointed and angry. It’s best to express it like it is and don’t hide. I had to face you after the match, I wasn’t good at hiding mine [emotions]. I was disappointed because I know how much better we can play.”

🔹Thomas Tuchel: “I had some reasons [to be angry]. From there we go, nobody will lack my support, love or appreciate as a group or players. I love to be involved. Sometimes you have to do it.”

🔹Thomas Tuchel on Romelu Lukaku: “He has achilles pain. It’s painful, not a major injury.”

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