THOMAS Tuchel insists he is under no illusions about the demands that will be placed on him after being installed as Chelsea head coach, and immediately targeted success in this season’s FA Cup and Champions League.
Tuchel - who revealed he had received a good luck message from predecessor Frank Lampard - took charge of the scoreless draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers on Wednesday night, 24 hours after being appointed to his new position and acknowledged he cannot expect the luxury of an extended bedding in period.
The Chelsea hierarchy moved to remove Lampard after a run of one win in five Premier League games had left the club in mid-table, five points adrift of the top four and Tuchel is well aware patience is a rare commodity at Stamford Bridge.
“In the end – and the club makes this very clear – at Chelsea it is about results,” he said, at a press conference to formally present him as the new head coach.. “It is about results.
“For us as managers, we always try to bring in performance, to develop players, to improve players, to increase their value as seen as strong performances. But in the end, like I said, I’m very realistic. I’m at a club whose DNA it is to win and go for trophies. I’m here to challenge for every trophy we play for in the competitions.
“That means that, yes, realistically this year it’s the Champions League and the FA Cup. To speak now about the Premier League title, there are too many teams in between us so this is not realistic. We will lose the focus if we start here.”
Tuchel acknowledged the departure of Lampard came as a disappointment to some of the club’s supporters given the former manager’s history as a player at the club, but expressed his hope that he will not face a backlash.
“I can absolutely assume that it’s a big, big disappointment for the fanbase to see that Frank was sacked,” said the German. “I have the biggest respect. I was a huge fan of Frank as a player. He was one of the key figures to demonstrate in 90 minutes what Chelsea is about: about intensity, devotion, a winning mentality. So I have the biggest respect for him personally and for his legacy.
“It just got better when I received a message this morning, a personal message to wish me all the best, and maybe meet in the future when this is possible.”
The former Paris Saint Germain manager insists he has enough quality within his squad to meet his aims for the current season and admitted the return to fitness of N’Golo Kante was an additional reason for optimism.
As PSG boss, Tuchel attempted to take Kante to the Parc des Princes and, after the France international’s role under both Lampard and Maurizio Sarri was subject to lengthy debate, explained he sees the midfielder best employed as one of two holding midfielders.
“I think he’s the strongest in the double six, in the centre and the heart of the game,” said the manager. “That gives him a bit more freedom than if he plays as a single six. He’s a guy who is a big, big helper for everybody with big potential, with the mentality of a helper, of a water-carrier, but at the same time a world-class player who played a crucial role in the World Cup win for France. That’s why it’s super important to have him.”