LONDON: Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel (Photo) He said on Monday the peak of Champions League victory was addicting as he urged his players to keep the hunger needed to defend their title.
The Blues begin their Champions League campaign at home on Tuesday against Zenit Saint Petersburg after a good start to the season in the Premier League.
Tuchel has made a huge impact after only arriving at the club in January to transform Chelsea from a struggling side in the middle of the Premier League table to Champions League winners.
The German had reached the final the previous year with Paris Saint-Germain but said he underestimated the difference he would have for his side to go even further.
“I reached a final with my team the previous season and felt it was a great achievement, but not doing the last leg is a huge difference when you realize what it means when you do it” Tuchel said during his pre-. -match press conference.
“The most important thing is not to look back but to keep hungry because that feeling creates more and more hunger.
“It’s addictive. This game is about winning because winning changes your feelings, it changes your working atmosphere in the building industry and gives you natural confidence.”
Chelsea are second in the Premier League with 10 points in their first four games and are a big favorite to cross Group H against Russian champions Zenit, Swedish title holders Malmö and a Juventus side struggling without Cristiano Ronaldo.
However, Tuchel cautioned against basking in the glory of their 1-0 win over Manchester City in last season’s Porto final.
“We absolutely have to forget it and start from scratch, to show this mentality again. This is what I demand from myself and from everyone around, that we do not change in terms of hunger, ”he said.
“We will have this experience together forever and we can relate it, but it’s about moving forward in the sport and meeting the challenges ahead and the next one is tomorrow.”
N’Golo Kante and Christian Pulisic will miss Zenit clash with injury, but Ben Chilwell could play his first minutes since May.
Chilwell was part of the England squad for Euro 2020 but was not there and had to spend 10 days of the tournament in isolation.
Tuchel said the left-back had returned to the preseason “mentally tired” but was now “in the race now” to challenge Marcos Alonso for a side spot. – AFP