Thomas Tuchel has welcomed Callum Hudson-Odoi back into the fold – after explaining his snub in a group meeting.
Tuchel subbed the Chelsea winger just 31 minutes after bringing him on in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Southampton and later blasted his “attitude”.
But the Blues boss has drawn a line under the matter after explaining his reasons in a team meeting – and Hudson-Odoi could now start against Atletico Madrid.
Tuchel said: “We decided to speak with him in front of the whole group because I had my reasons to do it. Was it the right decision? I don’t know.
“It was my decision in this moment. We spoke in front of the whole group to not make it bigger than it is. For us it was not a big thing. I know it can be sometimes.
“You reflect, should I do it, because maybe the media and the outside and family makes it bigger than it actually is meant.
“The only reaction we wanted was to go back to a good mood, to a smile, to good training the next day. That’s it.
“This is the lesson to learn, for him, for me also. Then we go on and it is forgotten. It is between us two. Business as usual.”
Chelsea skipper Cesar Azpilicueta said: “Obviously it’s not nice to come on and be subbed after 25/30 minutes.
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“When you are young the most important thing is the reaction. There was a positive reaction afterwards. I’m sure Callum will get better.”
The Blues take on an Atletico side whose lead at the top of La Liga has been cut to three points after a recent downturn in form.
And Tuchel admitted his side will have an advantage after the away leg of this last-16 tie was moved to a neutral venue in Bucharest due to Covid restrictions.
The Blues boss, who takes charge of Chelsea in Europe for the first time, said: “It is amazing and exciting to play Champions League games.
“In the knockout stage you know you arrive at the highest level when you play Atletico in the first round.”
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