Tuchel says Chelsea have moved on from Hudson-Odoi humiliation
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel says both he and forward Callum Hudson-Odoi can learn from an incident under which he has now drawn a line.
Thomas Tuchel says his criticism of Callum Hudson-Odoi was "no big thing" and the Chelsea winger has shown a positive reaction to being hauled off at Southampton. Tuchel took Hudson-Odoi off with 14 minutes remaining in Saturday's 1-1 draw, having only brought the 20-year-old on at half-time. The Blues boss raised eyebrows by stating that he was not happy with Hudson-Odoi's attitude following his introduction at the break.
Tuchel revealed he spoke to the Chelsea academy graduate, who is in the squad to face Atlético Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday, in front of his team-mates in training and they have moved on from the issue. The German said at a news conference on Monday: "It was my decision. We spoke in front of the whole group to not make it bigger than it is. We had the reaction we wanted, and he went back to a good mood and very good training. It's a lesson for him to learn, for me also, and we move on. Business as usual. No big thing."
Havertz and Pulisic return
Chelsea will be without Thiago Silva (thigh) for the first leg at the neutral venue of the National Arena in Bucharest, but Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic are back in the squad. Tuchel believes it is an advantage for Chelsea that the LaLiga leaders are not able to play the first leg at their Wanda Metropolitano home due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions.
Asked if it is a plus for his side to play at a neutral venue, he said: "Yeah because Atlético don't have their home ground. I love what I feel and what I see [from his players]. The eagerness and the hunger is there, I feel a strong bond with the players. I am very happy and excited to arrive in Bucharest, all the right to trust the boys on the pitch. Possibility to take 23 players and make five changes."
The former Paris Saint-Germain boss says winning the Champions League is not his priority. He added: "No, my priority is always the game we play. Hopefully, that will never change. What I expect from my players when we wear a Chelsea shirt [is] we play a Chelsea game. No preferences, very nice, it’s amazing and exciting to play Champions League knockout games. I feel confident and excited."