LONDON: Chelsea have sometimes lacked the killer blow in the final third and must find a balance between attack and their counter-pressing game, manager Thomas Tuchel said on Friday.
Chelsea have never scored more than two goals in a game since Tuchel took charge and despite their 13-game unbeaten run – the longest ever unbeaten start by a Chelsea manager – his priority has been stopping the opponent from creating chances.
“We lack some precision in the final third and some goals, but we’ve never lacked the work-rate against the ball, touches in the box, shots,” Tuchel told reporters ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup quarterfinal against Sheffield United.
“Maybe we lacked composure but that’s our fault because we work so hard against the ball. It’s about balance and I believe we have that balance in how the players feel.
“We’ll never stop to think about how to create chances, offensive solutions, where to create spaces and to accelerate our attacks. But we also think about counter-pressing.”
Olivier Giroud was Chelsea’s hero in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 when he scored the winner at Atletico Madrid but he has found minutes hard to come by, raising questions about his future with his contract ending this season.
Tuchel said Giroud’s lack of game time was partly down to him still adapting to making three substitutions per match, having been able to make five at Paris St Germain, and also because he wanted faster players in high-intensity games.
“I didn’t give him these minutes because I have to adapt back to three changes, maybe two changes because the last one you don’t want to use too early,” he said.
“It’s my job to push him and give him the feeling that he is still important.”
Tuchel confirmed injured defender Thiago Silva would not be risked while he was hopeful striker Tammy Abraham would be in the squad after an ankle injury scare in training. – Reuters