New boss Thomas Tuchel eager to earn trust of his Chelsea players

PA

Thomas Tuchel has admitted he must earn the trust of his Chelsea players.

The German boss took the Stamford Bridge helm on Tuesday, replacing the sacked Frank Lampard.

Chelsea’s record goal-scorer Lampard had built a robust connection with the club’s vast array of academy talent that he ushered into the Blues’ first team.

Lampard’s exit left behind the kind of split squad that follows any managerial exit, but the 42-year-old’s exit was felt all the more keenly by those home-grown stars he had fostered and promoted.

Former Paris St Germain boss Tuchel insists he will give youth a chance at Chelsea, but left Mason Mount on the bench in Wednesday’s goalless draw with Wolves and omitted Billy Gilmour entirely.

The 47-year-old is determined to prove himself to his new players however, with the Blues bidding to kick-start his tenure with a win against Burnley in west London on Sunday.

“Why should the players trust me? Because it’s not my first job in football,” said Tuchel. “I have to prove to them that they can trust me.

“I have to prove it to them on a daily basis, on the pitch and in the meetings; it’s as simple as that.

Thomas Tuchel on the touchline
Thomas Tuchel on the touchline

“The style here (in England) is unique, the intensity – Wolves played with 11 guys that seemed to be two metres five tall.

“This is a level of physical input, a level of athleticism that is unique.

“It brings out the best in every player, I truly believe this.

“And to compete with the best coaches in the world, hopefully it brings out the best in me. That’s why I’m here.

“Hopefully that is enough for the players to trust me.”

Tuchel’s bid to earn the trust of his Chelsea squad faces a number of immediate tests, most notably in the wake of racist abuse suffered by Reece James on social media.

Something needs to change.

— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 29, 2021

Chelsea condemned that abuse in the strongest terms with a statement late on Friday night, while James posted his disgust at receiving the online messages.

Tuchel must show James and his Chelsea players that he will do all he can to protect them against such abuse.

The former Borussia Dortmund boss must also repair those wounds left after Lampard’s sacking and set the Stamford Bridge men forward on a new course.

Sunday’s Premier League opponents Burnley will offer just as stubborn a defensive test as Wolves had in midweek, where Chelsea dominated territory and possession without finding a breakthrough in front of goal.

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