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PSG: “With Leonardo, things are clear, we can move forward,” says Tuchel

Thomas Tuchel had not spoken since the success (6-1) gleaned against Angers on October 2. On the eve of the return to current affairs this Friday evening in Nîmes, the Parisian coach had the opportunity to speak at a press conference on the reframing of Leonardo two weeks ago in his place as well as on the incredible massacre which affects its workforce a few days before the arrival of Manchester United at the Parc des Princes.

How did you take Leonardo’s statements to you after the match against Angers?

THOMAS TUCHEL. I heard what Leonardo said. I gave my opinion. But in football I never take things from a personal point of view. We had no contact afterwards. We did the training with the eight players present, these are the things that I like the most.

In what state do you find your group at the end of these international matches?

We have a bit of bad luck with the players. Draxler, Marquinhos and Verratti were injured in the selection. They will not be with us in Nîmes. There are also doubts about their return for Manchester United. Ander Herrera was not with us during the international break because he tested positive for the coronavirus. It was supposed to be the first day for Danilo, but he has been in contact with Ronaldo ( Editor’s note: tested positive ) in Portuguese selection and medical protocol prevents him from being with us. Colin Dagba went through the same thing with the Espoirs, only a third negative test will allow him to join us. Kehrer is injured, he will be absent for a few more weeks. The case of Bernat ( Editor’s note: operated on a knee ) is clear. As for Icardi, he injured the internal ligament of a knee last Wednesday. It’s not too bad, but he will miss the game in Nîmes and against Manchester.

Rafinha, Danilo and Kean came to swell the ranks of PSG. What are these three recruits going to bring you?

Rather than talking, I prefer that they show what they can do. We must give them time. At the moment it’s difficult to talk about Kean and Danilo. Rafinha has been with us for two weeks now. He showed his good technique. He’s a super humble guy, super nice and who will quickly integrate into the group. We already have the possibility of playing it tomorrow. It is even necessary. After that, we need a little patience, we will know in a few weeks what they will bring to the team.

You said, before the end of the transfer window, that as it stood, it was difficult for PSG to have the same ambitions as last season. Is this still the case ?

I know everyone has high expectations of us. But it was important that I give my opinion. I am here, always, to protect my players and my team. We are in a special situation with the team. Every trip is a big risk. And with the accumulation of travel, it can still happen to us to lose players in the weeks to come. There, we come out of three international matches and we have three key players who are injured. If we are spared from injuries, we can expect a lot from us because we can be very strong. But the schedule is going to be demanding, that’s why we need everyone.

With this busy schedule, is it a puzzle for you to put together a team?

Yes! It is a challenge to find solutions. We play an ambitious and courageous team tomorrow (Editor’s note: this Friday) in Nîmes. But we go there with ambition, not to prepare for Manchester United, we have never done that. But we also have to be responsible for the management of guys like Kylian and Neymar who have played and made trips with their selection. It is not the same to play at home or away. So I don’t know if it’s a puzzle, but it’s not easy.

How are Marco Verratti and Moise Kean in good shape?

I haven’t seen the guys since they came back from selection. They will be back in the next few hours. The only thing I can say is that Marco called the doctor because he came out injured. Hope this is not too serious.

Is it, as is the case in the workforce, important that the understanding is good between the coach and his sports director to have a good season?

Yes, you observed that the players on the team were very close to each other. But you also know that there are sometimes conflicts, without this changing anything in the links that unite them. But, I repeat, I don’t take it personally. I gave my opinion because it is my job as a coach. Leonardo has given his opinion, things are clear, we can move forward.

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