Thomas Tuchel insists a late title surges is not ‘realistic’ for Chelsea this season but says he has been impressed by the squad’s willingness to embrace his ideas and tactical approach.
Tuchel was named as the new head coach of the west London side this week following the decision to sack Frank Lampard, the former Paris Saint-Germain manager taking charge of the club for the first time in the goalless draw with Wolves on Wednesday.
It proved a frustrating first fixture for the German as Chelsea struggled to carve out clear goalscoring opportunities against a Wolves side who have struggled of late, the point leaving the Blues eighth in the Premier League and five points adrift of the top four.
Tuchel admits that the expectations at a club of Chelsea’s stature are to challenge for the titles, but says his new side must be realistic about their ambitions this season following a difficult run of form.
“The title? Whoah, it’s far away you know,” said Tuchel at his post match press conference. “No, we have to be realistic.
“When you sign for Chelsea as a player or like me as a manager, you sign for the expectation to challenge for titles. That means Premier League, the Champions League and all the cups. It’s absolutely clear.
“At the same time, we have to be realistic. There are a lot of teams between us and fourth – and a lot of points in between us. The best thing is that we don’t lose the focus and look too far, but stay and work on the details on a daily basis and the points will follow.
“This is the starting point. We will focus on our strengths and qualities and we will build a team nobody wants to play against, that’s the challenge. It’s for me to do that as fast as possible. For today, I was very pleased.”
Tuchel also opened up on his first impressions of the Chelsea squad and his first sessions as head coach, praising the players’ willingness to embrace his ideas and tactical approach.
The 47-year-old was pleased with elements of his side’s performance in the stalemate with Wolves as Chelsea enjoyed a huge 79% possession, and has hailed the club’s coaching staff for their work in preparing his side for the clash.
“I found a group yesterday that was totally open to our ideas, our beliefs and our tactical approach, where we want to accelerate the game, where we want to close spaces, how we want to defend and attack,”
“This made me feel very good because this is what you wish for. From now on, this is the level now, and we can start working on the details and prepare for Burnley.
“When I look at this game today I’m pretty amazed because I can totally identify with what we did here. I would have been happy to have a full stadium here, I think the fans would have liked what they saw here. We managed to put the game completely into the opponents half, we managed to close down counter-attacks very early, we created a lot of half chances and with every minute more and more chances.
”I have to say the staff at Cobham gave us a lot of information, did an amazing job in helping us analyse Wolverhampton and preparing, for example, set-pieces and stuff for our team. We had a clear idea where to put the guys and start with three to help the guys defend against the two fast strikers so we do not have the situations that we maybe slip or let the easy counter-attack get away.
“So we decided for that to have the control, three on two on the pitch with the double-six, and from there on we tried to show where to accelerate and where to defend and how to close down spaces. I’m very happy with what I saw.
“We found a team that was totally open to our ideas. This is what we do for many years, to select formations that will feel good on the pitch, and if you have a team like this there’s nothing more you can wish for.”