Thomas Tuchel has discussed Chelsea’s ‘challenge’ to improve on last season’s Champions League success.
Chelsea were crowned as champions of Europe following a surprise run to the Champions League final last season, the club’s impressive turnaround following Tuchel’s appointment capped with success over Manchester City in Porto.
The west London side face Villarreal in the UEFA Super Cup this evening and Tuchel has been discussing his side’s hopes ahead of the new season, insisting he will continue to demand improvement from his players despite winning club football’s biggest prize last term.
“Does anybody have the recipe how to do better after a Champions League victory?” Tuchel said ahead of the Super Cup. “I don’t know. I don’t have it. It was my first Champions League win. It doesn’t feel like pressure because this is what we demand of ourselves.
“I demand of myself to get better every day, to use my experiences to be the best coach possible, to lead by example, to come to Cobham full of energy in a good mood and ready to continue the journey together. It has just started and hopefully it will be a long journey.
“The courage now is to face the challenge. The courage is to step up and demand we develop and improve certain things. There were things in our game in the last half-a-season we were very strong at, and we have to maintain that.
“We have to clearly rebuild the same spirit that put us in the possibility to have all these results. There are a lot of different tasks to fulfil. The most important is we don’t lose sight of that by thinking too much about pressure or expectations.”
Tuchel has discussed the demanding nature of his pre-season preparations, with a large number of players involved in major international tournaments as a result of Euro 2020 and the Copa America.
The German praised his side’s physical department for their work given the limited time for preparation, but believes his side will develop into ‘much better shape’ after the September international break.
“It’s been pretty demanding,” he acknowledged.
“I will tell the story backwards. We arrived here with some players who actually have had one in-house game for 45 minutes, and with some players who have been training for five weeks, and who have four matches in their legs. It’s a widely spread group regarding their physical level.
“I’m absolutely happy to have the support of the physical department, who did an amazing job to really treat every group individually, and provide the training that was necessary every single day. We have done the best we could, we have had fantastic support, and we arrive to play an important match which is absolutely fine for us.
“For a lot of players, the preparation to a very demanding season will continue over the next weeks. We will be in much better shape after the next international break.”