Thomas Tuchel reaffirmed his commitment to Chelsea after his side’s 1-0 win over Newcastle – and even offered to drive his players to Lille for Wednesday’s Champions League tie.
At the end of a dramatic week for the club, which saw owner Roman Abramovich sanctioned by the UK government on Thursday and then struck off as a director by the Premier League on Saturday, Chelsea grabbed a last-gasp win over Newcastle, with Kai Havertz brilliantly converting in the 89th minute.
Despite all the off-field concerns and distractions, Chelsea have now won five in a row in the Premier League to strengthen their hold on third.
Tuchel was asked about his future in his post-match press conference and, after insisting he would remain with the club, he explained how a day-by-day approach is allowing his coaching staff and players to focus on their performances.
“For sure, there’s no doubt I stay until the end of the season,” he said. “Absolutely.
“We have to wait day by day because everything can change but the situation is clear: the club is for sale and hopefully it will go through to sort things out and give us some perspective. It’s pure speculation and I have no further information than you already have.
“Day by day is a good way to live your life and now we’re forced to do it because there are circumstances we can’t influence. In some ways, that’s not so nice but it gives you the freedom to focus on the things you can influence, which is our performances and show the spirit.
“The focus is on the first team – but Chelsea is much more than the first team in the Premier League. It’s a massive club with huge tradition and hundreds and hundreds of people and for them it’s important we show the spirit, give them a distraction and show them what we’re about.”
“I’ll drive a seven-seater!”
Tuchel added that his role has hardly changed during this situation, thanks to the work of the staff at the club. “What makes Chelsea special is the quality and commitment of the support from everybody in our building,” he said.
That includes the travel planners, who are working to new, strict budgets for away trips, set by the government as part of the club’s restrictions. However, Tuchel says whatever happens, he and his players will be in Lille on Wednesday for their Champions League last-16 tie.
“My last information is we have a plane,” he said. “We can go by plane and go back by plane. If not we go by train. And if not we go by bus. And if not I’ll drive a seven-seater!
“If you asked me 20 years, 30 years ago if I’d join a Champions League match at the sideline and what I’m willing to do, I’d say ‘where do I have to be when?’ We will be there.
“Of course organisation-wise there are some negotiations but we have brilliant guys who organise the travels and in every department there are such committed people so things in the moment feel quite normal.”