08 April 2022

Ralph Hasenhuttl certain Thomas Tuchel will get Chelsea back on track

08 April 2022

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has no doubts Thomas Tuchel will soon have Chelsea firing on all cylinders again as the Blues look to kickstart their campaign once more at St Mary’s Stadium.

Chelsea saw hopes of defending their Champions League crown suffer a blow after a 3-1 home defeat by Real Madrid in the first leg of their quarter-final tie on Wednesday night.

With Brentford having won 4-1 at Stamford Bridge in their last Premier League game, Tuchel has challenged his side to shape up fast as they prepare to travel to Southampton.

Having previously been on a six-match winning streak through all competitions, Hasenhuttl knows just what Chelsea are capable of.

Despite all of the outside noise around the club following sanctions on owner Roman Abramovich and over their future direction once a sale has been completed, Hasenhuttl believes the coaching staff and players will not be distracted from the job in hand.

“You cannot give a general answer for this, some are maybe affected a little bit more, others not really,” Hasenhuttl said.

“The most important thing is always how you react as a manager and how you are able to lean the focus in the right direction.

“It is up to you to find the right words and I am sure Thomas does this in a fantastic way, because he has these qualities.

“This is the most important thing, because in the end, I don’t think it changes a lot – they (players) go in the morning to the (training sessions), they do their job on the pitch, they want to win games and if it is possible every game.

“They are part of the Champions League still, they are part of the FA Cup, and in a top position in the Premier League, so I have heard of more difficult situations to be honest, that is the reason why I think it doesn’t affect them massively.”

On-loan Chelsea forward Armando Broja is not eligible to face his former club at St Mary’s on Saturday.

Hasenhuttl admits the unavailability of the 20-year-old Albanian frontman, who has scored nine goals in all competitions, is a selection headache.

“I would like to have him (Broja) because he is a threat, but I think this is a good rule that you cannot play against your parent club,” the Saints boss said.

“It is not like this in other countries and you can end up with players playing and scoring against their clubs. I think this decision is better, but he would definitely help us in our game.”

Shane Long is being monitored with an ankle problem picked up at Leeds.

Hasenhuttl hopes no matter which player steps in to lead the Saints attack, they will make full use of their opportunity.

“It is a chance for everybody to grab,” the Southampton manager said.

“You try to look at who offers the most and they should get a chance to play.”

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