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Tuchel ‘not concerned’ about Man Utd: It’s not my job

Chelsea are keeping Thomas Tuchel busy enough not to have to concern himself with Manchester United’s own difficulties.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 24:  Thomas Tuchel manager of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on April 24, 2022 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
Marc AtkinsGetty

Thomas Tuchel remains focused on the task at hand at Chelsea rather than worrying about the issues surrounding next opponents Manchester United, whom he expects to bounce back.

United head into Thursday’s game at Old Trafford having lost three of their past four Premier League matches and looking to avoid three straight defeats for the first time since 2015.

The Red Devils are sixth, six points adrift of the top four and looking increasingly unlikely to play Champions League football next season.

United-Chelsea a ‘big match’

But when United’s troubles were put to Tuchel, who has fronted up over Chelsea’s issues around their ownership in recent months, he replied with a smile: “Over the last months there was also a lot of talk about Chelsea, so we were not so heavily involved in the talks about Manchester United.”

Yet the Chelsea coach insists: “It will always be a big match, for me, no matter the position and what current form they’re in. This is how I see it, and that’s why we prepare in the best possible way.

“We don’t reflect so much on their situation and what’s going on in and around the club. We focus on their last matches. We should not get confused by their lack of points, lack of results. For me, this squad is full of quality.”

Indeed, Tuchel does not foresee long-term problems under Erik ten Hag, who will take over from Ralf Rangnick at the end of the season.

Tuchel not worried about United

“I’m not concerned about Man United,” Tuchel said.

“First of all, it’s not my job; second of all, they will always recover, because the club is a huge club and the squad is full of individual talents. But I am not involved; we have enough to do here.”

Given that anticipated improvement, this might be seen as a great opportunity for Chelsea to end a miserable run against United.

Chelsea’s poor run against United

The Blues are winless in eight Premier League games against United, only enduring worse stretches against Arsenal (19 matches) and Blackburn Rovers (12) in the competition’s history. At Old Trafford, Chelsea’s last victory came back in 2013.

However, Tuchel said: “It’s not so much now or never, because now they are struggling with results recently.

“We honestly prepare all the time to have the feeling now or never, in every single match. We try to prepare in the best way possible to try to win the match tomorrow.”

Former mentor Rangnick

Rangnick is a former mentor for Tuchel, having “opened our eyes” when the Champions League winner was a player at Ulm and then “opened the door” to him as a coach at Stuttgart.

Tuchel has subsequently won four of their five meetings, all in Germany, although Rangnick came out on top in their most recent encounter.

“It’s nice to see him always,” Tuchel said of Rangnick. “It’s always tough to play against teams like his.

“We will maybe have the time for a quick chat, five minutes, but contact is not on a daily or weekly basis.”