Every word Thomas Tuchel said on Chelsea transfers, Tottenham, Silva, Kante, Pulisic and Emerson

By Sam Inkersole

How is the January transfer situation looking?

We react daily to the situation, but the situation has not changed for us. No news, no updates.

The areas are clear. We are looking into the market and we have our ideas, but there is no need to put pressure and for sure no need to put any pressure out in public. We are relaxed. I am relaxed. I am happy with the players. I wish to have all the players here, so we take care of them very well.

The guys who are out injured hopefully come back as soon as possible and hopefully no new positive tests. When we have our squad I am a happy coach. We have some long-term injuries that we are concerned about, but play for Chelsea and to find these players in January is not easy.

Are you looking at recalling some loan players?

It is the same question and it will be the same answer. There is no news. Once we have news we will update you.

How is the Covid situation at the club? What impact has it had?

It has obviously a huge impact every single day and especially before match days. We have training today at 4pm so you hope everybody makes it into the building with a negative test. That is never 100 percent sure.

If you want to release players after being positive like N’Golo and Thiago Silva, you have to follow some official protocols, which we do, and then you have to be very flexible. It can be that both of them arrive in the afternoon late and train. Hopefully it is like this.

You can only be really sure one hour before training. Two hours before training. From there you go. It is more or less a daily routine and a daily repetition of the same scenario.

We are getting used to it. We don’t want to get used to it because it is what we, adapt to the situation, finding solutions. It is demanding, but it is not impossible. Nothing has changed.

Who is available for tomorrow? Anyone ruled out injury or Covid wise?

Right now I would say we have the same guys available as we did for the cup game. No new injuries or news which is good for us.

We have to wait for a last-minute decision on N’Golo Kante and Thiago Silva.

What do you expect from Spurs? Already got one foot in the final but there is always that “but…”

I would actually say we have no foot in the final, none of the teams, whether it half a foot or a whole foot, there is no need to waste energy over these things.

We play another tough match in a tough stadium against a very good team and a top, top, top coach so we need to be prepared.

Maybe it is better not to expect too much because nobody knows what is going to happen. We need to be fully aware of everything and to adapt to the situations that happen on the pitch.

Of course we want to control the match and attack as much as possible, we had a very good match in the first leg but it is over, it is the past and we expect the best possible Tottenham side.

We prepared in the best manner, we did for the first match and we will do it again for tomorrow. We have to be spot on, forget the first result and do it again.

You do have a good lead, record against Spurs, how do you guard against complacency?

Trusting ourselves - this is what we do. We always prepare properly, we are always on the front foot and we have big respect for the competition, for our opponents, respect for the game and if you do that, respect the talent, it is our obligation to be prepared.

I have trust in me, my staff and also my team and players. This is what we are used to, to arrive well prepared or you have no chance to win consistently or on that level. We have proved it, that is why we can allow ourselves to trust on this one, that we have our attitude right and then we will have the game right.

We have a good result because we had a good game and a win but now it starts from scratch. If there are problems that occur, it is our duty to respond and shop reactions, this is what we do.

I guess that everybody knows that we play a very important match in a derby against Tottenham, big stadium, big club and a very competitive coach on the other side so we need our best level.

A big few games coming up for Kepa?

I never experienced Kepa nervous. Never. Not one single day. I never experienced him jealous. I never experienced him being unhappy for his colleague. Of course, his big competition in goal but I never experienced him jealous or nervous.

The good thing is that there was a very genuine trust once we needed him to play for us and once we let him play. I felt the same from him that he was very calm and focused. This is what he does every single day. I have the feeling that he felt he doesn't need to show it over 90 minutes that he is capable.

We trust him and he is capable. It is not easy in his position because there's not a lot of changes in the goalkeeping position.

We have him and we are so happy to have him. This is maybe the difference. There's no extra sentence or speech from me. There's no special stuff, it is genuine trust and we are just happy that he can show it because he will be ready to show it.

How do you see the January transfer market playing out in general, not just you?

I don't know if I have a good answer to this one. I don't know honestly. I have the feeling that Aston Villa is very busy and finding good opportunities to strengthen their squad. Other teams are actually maybe pretty happy with what they have. We, in general, are very happy.

I am very happy with what we have. We struggle a bit with long term injuries so we look into the market. January is always a bit particular. Let's see, there's not a lot going on at the moment. In the end, I think there will be more transfers done. Actually, I don't know how big it will be.

Billy Gilmour is back at the club after injury, any discussions over whether he will stay?

First of all, we check his injury of course. He is our player and he is here to have examinations so we know about the situation so we can decide with him together with Norwich about the treatment. Then we will take the decision but we have not talked so far about if he stays or not.

EFL semi-final postponed because of COVID cases and Klopp said he had a lot of false positives? Thoughts?

No interpretation, I believe him and people will look into it. It can happen. We had one false positive test at Wolverhampton. One false positive and sent Jorginho straight home.

I know what you mean as we had games postponed when we arrived at Wolves. We thought we had a big case with seven positives so we thought we maybe had the possibility to postpone the match.

Decisions were taken and you know my opinion but I will not comment on other club's situations. We struggled and we still can struggle anytime like anybody can. I don't know enough about the situation to comment.

Fans are frustrated with the process, more transparency required?

Yeah it would be nice, for everybody actually.

You say, but I would doubt that you can postpone a match because of African Cup of Nations, because that would be a big surprise actually and all the details in the regulations, I have to admit I'm not aware of it.

But transparency most of the time helps, and in these decisions it would help to make people understand. In general we can still be happy we have fans and fans are still allowed in the stadiums. I guess everybody is trying hard to have a squad ready and competitive for every match.

Are Silva and Kante out of isolation?

Yeah. Cardiac tests, negative, of course Covid tests, but you also have to follow some protocols to bring them back to training.

Would they be ready to play tomorrow?

I don't know actually, I have to wait if they are in training and then let's see how they respond to the training. It's a gamble, if we do it it's a gamble and I'm not sure if we do it and how much of a responsibility we can take there.

But we have to do it step by step, I'm not in the moment even sure if they come to training. If they come to training, we have to see the reaction and then decide then.

Christian Pulisic has played in lots of different positions for you this season...

Yeah it's true we moved him around a little bit, but in the end they want to play, and it's a good thing if they can play more positions.

You can always argue I would have been more consistent or better if I had one clear position, but maybe then you have less minutes or you face even more competition, because up front we have two or three players in every position.

So first of all it's a good thing, it was also a bad sign because it means we had trouble on the left and right wing-back with injuries and he helped us out there.

We are happy with the impact that he has.

He can play a lot of minutes, he needs to play a lot of minutes, he has a physical ability that can help us.

Of course everybody wants him to have numbers, everybody wants him to be effective, and we can improve everybody, we can improve on that.

And from there we go, this is the situation.


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