Thomas Tuchel has insisted that it is “stupid” to think that Chelsea are still in the Premier League title competition, due to the number of Covid cases and injuries that his team has handled.
The Blues slipped to a damaging 1-1 draw against Brighton in the Premier League on Wednesday, where they lost both Reece James and Andreas Christensen to injuries, meaning they have only won twice in their last five league games.
Their title rivals, Manchester City, have not experienced such a failure, but have tasted victory in each of their last 10 matches. Pep Guardiola’s team now has an eight-point lead over the Blues heading into the new year.
After the Brighton match, Tuchel dismissed claims that Chelsea are still in the title race.
Asked if their hopes of getting to the top of the pile are over, the German told BBC Sport: “How should we be in [the race]? “
He continued: “We have seven Covid cases. We have five or six players out for six or more weeks. How do we compete in a title race?
“Everyone else who has a full team, everyone who trains has full power to get through this league.
“We would be stupid to think we can do it by Covid and injury. Just play and everyone would be stupid to do it without 23 well-trained players.”
Tuchel has been critical of the Premier League’s handling of the latest spearhead in Covid-19 cases, accusing them of not prioritizing player safety.
He stopped adding these comments after the match, instead saying: “This is the reality, this is where we are and we have to adapt to the demands of the situation you are in.
“I competed very hard for the victory in Brighton at home. I do not know what to expect from my players in terms of physicality, intensity or minutes.
“Nobody knows anymore because we’ve never done anything like it. We play trial and error and see what we can do.”
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