Tuchel: Chelsea players need time off

Thomas Tuchel says his Chelsea players looked “tired” in the 1-1 draw against Brighton and need some days off ahead of the Super Sunday showdown against Tottenham.

It was an often lethargic performance from Chelsea as they took a point from the Amex Stadium, with Hakim Ziyech’s first-half strike being cancelled out by Adam Webster’s free header.

Chelsea are winless in their last four Premier League outings, drawing three, and missed the chance to go above Liverpool into second.

Asked to explain the recent poor league form, Tuchel replied: “I answered this question a hundred times, if you look at our situation of long-term injuries, of key players injured, and of Covid and you look at our schedule you will have the answer.

“We are mentally tired and physically tired, you can see it in our performance, it’s as easy as that. We need to recharge the batteries, we need to reconnect.

“This is my feeling, that’s why I give the players two days off and then we will use Friday and Saturday to prepare for Sunday.”

When later asked how much his team needed two days off, he added: “So, so badly. You can say it’s an excuse but it’s like this.

“Look at our schedule when we arrived at Man City, we had Carabao Cup in between, they did not. When we arrived here, they had more days to prepare. We’ve played like this since November, we are the team that plays and plays and plays.”

It was not the performance Tuchel will have wanted ahead of their match against bitter rivals Tottenham – who they recently beat over two legs in the Carabao Cup semi-finals.

Spurs have a whopping five games in hand over Chelsea after a string of recent Covid postponements, adding an extra dimension of pressure for the Blues as they look to halt their recent slide. – Sky Sports

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