Thomas Tuchel has called on Chelsea to adopt the same ‘mentality’ against any opposition as the west London side prepare for their Champions League last-16 clash with Atletico Madrid.
Chelsea face the Spanish league leaders in the first leg of their knockout stage tie this evening, with the game set to be played in Bucharest amid coronavirus travel restrictions.
Chelsea qualified for the knockout stages as group winners but have been handed a difficult assignment after being drawn to face Atletico, who have enjoyed an excellent start to the season to lead the La Liga title race by three points with a game in hand.
Tuchel has opened up on the challenge he is expecting from Diego Simeone’s side and has outlined his demands from his players, calling on his squad to following the example of club captain Cesar Azpilicueta in taking the same approach and mentality into every single fixture.
‘The key will be that we adapt to the mentality of Azpi, our captain, that we make no difference.’ Tuchel told Chelsea TV.
‘This is much, much easier to say than to do, that we make no difference if we play Barnsley in the cup, or we play Tottenham, or Burnley at home, or in Southampton, or we play in Bucharest against Atletico.
‘Of course, all teams are different, on a different level of quality and, of course, the Champions League is the toughest competition in Europe but this is the spirit.
‘We want to be brave, we want to impose our style, we want to control the game, we want to be self-confident and at the same time to be humble enough to work 100% as a team.’
Tuchel admits his coaching staff have identified areas he believes Chelsea can ‘hurt’ Atleti ahead of the tie and is confident his side can secure a positive result by relying on their ‘principles’.
‘We will clearly show situations and spaces where we think we can hurt them and this is where we will focus.’ he added.
‘We will try to win, like we try always to find solutions and approaches to win games, and we will accept that this will be super hard.
‘We want to be ready for that and the key is to be confident in what we do and to rely on our principles of the game.’