Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel names his three hardmen ‘you don’t want to be in a fight with’

Chelsea: Tuchel says he wouldn't want fight with 'leaders'

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Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has named Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta and Mateo Kovacic as the three Blues stars that “you don’t want to be in a fight with”. Speaking ahead of the second leg of his side’s Champions League quarter-final clash with Porto, Tuchel was asked about the “emotional” leaders in his squad.

The Chelsea boss explained that he was counting on the likes of Rudiger, Azpilicueta and Kovacic to set the tone, saying: “Honestly, you don’t want to be in a fight with Toni Rudiger, and Azpi, and Kova; they are all emotional guys and you wouldn’t want to be in a fight with them.

“Because they are all ready to fight and it’s in their nature to show it on the pitch and to protect the interests of our team which is very, very important.

“They are there and we can rely on them, because it’s in their nature.

“Nobody needs to do anything that’s against their nature. We can totally rely on them.

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“I think for me, when I was a player on the lower level it was always important for me, when you had big matches and felt the tension, you could look around the dressing room and go out of the tunnel, look around who’s next to you and feel confident and comfortable.

“And I’m pretty sure that our guys feel very, very comfortable when they look around and see who they rely on.”

When asked whether Chelsea’s approach may change because they won the first leg 2-0, Tuchel replied: “We don’t approach games like this, to talk about the result we have and then change the approach to our game.

“It’s important to be fully focused on us, play the best game possible again because this increases all chances of a result.

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“I think in terms of adapting to the result, it’s easier for Porto because they know very, very well what they need to do to go through, they need to score three goals if they want to go through.

“For us if we start adapting we could easily lose our heads.

“Because what does it mean? That’s it’s enough to lose one-zero? It’s good to have a draw, or better to have one-zero for us. Why should we enter into this thinking? This is the challenge to not lose your head.

“I hope we embrace the challenge, I hope we have the feeling this is a match everyone waits for since they were a little kid.

“Everybody wants to play Champions League, everybody wants to be part of it, everybody wants to have a decisive match. But forget the result, we have to deliver. If we don’t deliver, you cannot expect any results.

“We should rely on what we do well and what we do best, and we will not change our approach to the game because of the result we had last week.

“We have a certain way of playing and we will try to bring it to the best levels, because the game will ask many questions that we cannot think about right now.

“And we have to be free in our minds to react to the situations on the pitch.”

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