Timo Werner – important for him to get that goal and now open the floodgates?
Yes, for sure. For the strikers, the last percent of belief and confidence come from goals and nothing else. He worked really hard for that. He was very decisive with assists and winning penalties in the last games and today, a goal and this is a super, super pint for him. I am happy because he put in a lot of effort and so now I think it is a big relief but we saw it coming.
How is Tammy Abraham?
There is no update, it is a worry because we had to take him off so early after a hard tackle. We are worried but there is no news
Showing the referee something on the update at half time, was it the tackle on Abraham?
Yes. My assistant tried to show him on the iPad. We had the feeling that it was a reckless tackle. He played the ball, yes, but for it was too much because you risk the injury of an opponent and for me, it was a foul. It was reckless but OK, I don’t want to criticise.
Well we will never stop pushing because like I said before, there is no other way than taking it step by step and game by game. I can only tell everybody there is a long way to go, there are many many teams who are close and we have some tough ngames, a lot of big teams to play and points to win. Now that is why we will have a couple of days off to recover physically and mentally and then we prepare 100 percent for Sothampton and the next challenge. We play in the toughest league in Europe and right now, the fixtures at the end of the season will count.
Hard part was to get the top four, now is it keeping them there?
Many people said when we started that it wouldn’t be possible because there were many places and points between us and Liverpool in fourth place. It was clear that it was not all in our hands and we needed results on other pitches to close the gap. This was the situation when we started. From then on, we spent not one minute thinking about the other pitches and other teams, the situations with the fixtures. We just spent every minute with our team focusing on us. To prepare for matches because we play in the toughest league and we need to be ready every three days. We had different competitions and we still are in three competitions. Normally, it can be a reward today to look at the fixtures but it cannot be a distraction from Thursday onwards [when Chelsea return after a two-day break]. The only focus will be on how to be ready for Southampton. I think that my players know this very well. We worked hard for this momentum. The players have worked incredibly hard to win all these games in a row and it will not stop. That’s the bad news, but everybody is prepared for that. Everybody who signs for Chelsea wants to have this competition and the challenge is now to keep ongoing. But we can look at our performance, determination and hunger to not allow anybody to drop to 99% performance levels.
No Christian Pulisic this evening off the bench?
Today, the first change was already made in the first half from injury and Christian was a very tight decision if he starts again after the cup game, or if he comes on from the bench. We decided for another eleven to start. Unfortunately, we only had three changes which makes it very difficult to give time to the players, to let everybody play, and to have an impact with the changes of fresh legs. That makes it difficult and the third change we didn’t want to use too early. During the match, we did what we normally do which is to only change to win the match. He deserves to start, or to come in but I could only use three guys. I hope he keeps on going and he will make an important impact for us in the future.
Looking ahead, back in Champions League action next week, primed for a push at the trophy?
You need to ask me next Monday. We will be prepared and hopefully I will tell you that we are well prepared. We will do everything to go through but you know very well that Atletico are top of the league and are by far the top of the league in Spain. They are one of the toughest teams in Spain and are still a challenge. It is a two-match elimination as you know well. We will focus on Southampton and the best way to arrive in the Champions League with a good performance. Hopefully another win, we will see on Monday who we can count on and who is ready to play.We are self-confident enough to say we play these two games to get to the next round but it will be super hard.
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