Tuchel tells Abraham and Gilmour to keep pushing for Chelsea chances

By Sports Desk March 19, 2021

Thomas Tuchel has no concerns over the application or attitude of Tammy Abraham and Billy Gilmour, but he understands their frustration at a lack of game time.

Abraham has not featured for Chelsea since February 20, while Gilmour has made just one appearance, in an FA Cup tie against Barnsley last month, under Tuchel.

With Euro 2020 coming up at the end of the season, both players missed out on their respective national squads for the upcoming March internationals.

Tuchel knows this could be of concern but insisted that he was at fault in Abraham's case, rather than the striker, who has scored six league goals this season.

"He's had a bit of a tough time," Tuchel said of Abraham in a news conference previewing Sunday's FA Cup clash with Sheffield United.

"He suffers a little bit also from me not finding the real formation up front. Like, 'Okay, let's play always like this, this is your position, these are the guys you compete against, try to compete against A, B and C and therefore you can go'.

"It's a bit more complex because I need to get to know the team better. We have Timo [Werner] who can play as a number nine, we have Olivier [Giroud] and Kai [Havertz], so he suffers a little bit from all these circumstances.

"It's not his fault, it is also maybe more my fault than his fault. We have some talks now to encourage him never to give in, to accept the situation and to not overthink it and to just come back to the momentum in training and to stay positive.

"The team is winning now without him, he could feel a bit excluded, but it is not like this with him so hopefully he can be back now in the squad, be totally free. There are some hard choices, there's still a long way to go and he’s part of it."

Across all competitions, Abraham averages a goal every 127 minutes, while he boasts an admirable big chance conversion rate of 62.5 per cent (10/16).

All 12 of Abraham's goals this season have come from inside the box, and his shooting accuracy stands at 51.22 per cent – excluding blocked efforts.

Asked if England international Abraham had voiced any concern over his participation in the Euros, Tuchel replied: "We have not talked about this. I feel more concerned about his role in our team.

"He clearly knows a role in our team improves the chances for him to have a role in the English national team, for sure.

"We did not talk about it, but it would not surprise me if it's in his head. This is totally normal that the players have their own interests to have a role in their team but also for their country.

"I hope that he's not too harsh on himself and does not overthink it. What is important is the situation in the club and he has every chance to find his way back."

In Gilmour's case, Tuchel stressed the Scottish youngster's limited opportunity has been merely down to the quality of Chelsea's midfield options.

"He has three big problems – N'Golo Kante, Kovacic and Jorginho," Tuchel said.

"They are never injured and perform on a level in central midfield, it is not easy to compete with them. This is the only thing. I have no trust issue with him, I have no problem with his attitude."

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