'Everyone's thinking about Dortmund' - Tuchel admits PSG minds are wandering

By Sports Desk February 14, 2020

Thomas Tuchel believes the focus of his Paris Saint-Germain stars has already turned to the Champions League duel with Borussia Dortmund.

His task will be to ensure they are sufficiently tuned in to Saturday's Ligue 1 fixture at Amiens, and boss Tuchel is convinced his players will show their professionalism.

But Tuchel, who is a former head coach of Dortmund, is not oblivious to the fact next Tuesday's trip to Germany for the last-16 European match has captured the imagination.

He told PSG TV: "Maybe we have to accept that everyone's thinking about Dortmund; maybe the players, too, are thinking a bit about Dortmund.

"Maybe we have to accept we're not finding the same tension before the [Amiens] match as for a cup quarter-final or before a match against Lyon.

"Maybe that's normal and we have to accept that. It's not bad.

"But, that being said, I'm absolutely convinced that at the start of the match, and the two to three hours before, the boys will be concentrating. I'm very, very sure.

"It's normal. The match is an away game and there's another match on Tuesday, it's normal everyone thinks a bit about the game at Dortmund."

Tuchel admits he has also given thought to the Dortmund game, but his immediate priority is beating relegation-threatened Amiens, who last won in the league on November 2.

Looking to the Amiens game, he said: "We won't take any risks, obviously, but at the same time we'll put out a strong team."

Edinson Cavani could lead the attack at Amiens, with the Uruguayan striker, who turned 33 on Friday, seemingly entering the final months of his PSG career but still a player Tuchel trusts implicitly.

Tuchel said: "Edinson brings his incredible mentality. He is one of the club's great players. He is a goalscorer, he always works for the team. He's our first defender.

"He is always running. He is strong, he has the mindset and he also has the experience of playing the games. That's the way it is.

"We're playing in four different competitions and we expect to win every competition and every match, so for that we need players with personality, mentality and quality.

"Edinson Cavani has all of that."

Related items

  • Barcelona and Real Madrid make all clubs 'tremble' – Guardiola addresses Sterling speculation Barcelona and Real Madrid make all clubs 'tremble' – Guardiola addresses Sterling speculation

    Pep Guardiola says any club would "tremble" if Real Madrid or Barcelona enquired about one of their star players, amid speculation linking Raheem Sterling with Los Blancos.

    In an interview with Spanish publication AS on Friday, City forward Sterling spoke of his admiration for Madrid following rumours of a potential move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

    The England international was also pictured holding up the shirts of both City and Madrid, who meet in the Champions League last 16 next week.

    In a news conference ahead of City's Premier League clash with third-placed Leicester City, Guardiola insisted he has no doubt over Sterling's commitment.

    However, he conceded all clubs have to worry should Madrid or their LaLiga rivals Barcelona come calling.

    "All the clubs have to know that when Real Madrid or Barcelona knock on the door, the other clubs must tremble, they will be a little bit in trouble," Guardiola told reporters.

    "Barcelona and Madrid are maybe the strongest and most powerful teams in terms of history and how good they are. That is normal and I understand completely.

    "But on the same point, you just see the commitment from Raheem, every single day when he arrives. He's never injured.

    "His commitment in every game, offensively and defensively, so he's one of the best players in the world and it's normal that big clubs see his desire for the team.

    "I don't know if Madrid or Barcelona called his agent, [but] I don't have any doubts about the commitment Raheem and the other ones have had from the first day to the last day."

    Guardiola himself has been linked with leaving City after the club was handed a two-year ban from the Champions League by UEFA for a breach of Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations.

    With City in the process of lodging an appeal after denying UEFA's claims, Guardiola swiftly moved to dismiss reports of a potential exit and reiterated his commitment to City once more on Friday.

    "My happiness. I'm looking for my happiness, that's the only thing I'm looking for," Guardiola said when asked if he would consider staying beyond the expiration of his current deal, which runs out at the end of next season.

    "I'm working with exceptional players especially and I have the feeling that they follow us 100 per cent, knowing how it's not easy working with us and with me, but I'm happy.

    "That is the only reason why, when I move on always it's because I am thinking I can be happier than the place that I was before. That is the only reason.

    "We have got incredible owners and a good relationship, so I think it will not be a problem to understand both sides if we decide to stay three more years or stay in the time we are together."

  • Derby County 1-1 Fulham: Rooney goal on landmark appearance not enough for Rams Derby County 1-1 Fulham: Rooney goal on landmark appearance not enough for Rams

    Wayne Rooney marked his 500th game in English league football with a goal but it was not enough for Derby County as they drew 1-1 with Fulham.

    Rooney made it 10 goals from his last 13 appearances against Fulham in all competitions when he chipped home from the penalty spot 10 minutes into the second half in Friday's Championship encounter.

    However, Fulham fought back to restore parity – Aleksandar Mitrovic sending a brilliant finish into the bottom-left corner in the 71st minute.

    Bobby De Cordova-Reid and Ivan Cavaleiro went close to completing the turnaround for Fulham, though the visitors had Marek Rodak to thank when he pulled off a string of stunning saves late on.

    Ultimately, though, neither side could snatch a winner and the draw leaves Derby in 12th, while Fulham missed the chance to move level on points with second-placed Leeds United.

  • Bale left out for Levante trip despite Zidane's plaudits Bale left out for Levante trip despite Zidane's plaudits

    Zinedine Zidane defended Gareth Bale's performance against Celta Vigo, yet the Wales forward has not been included in Real Madrid's squad for the trip to Levante.

    Bale started and played 84 minutes on Sunday, as Madrid were held to a 2-2 home draw by Celta, who equalised late on through Santi Mina.

    "I think Bale played a good game and we have to keep thinking that there's a long way to go and we have to think about what we all do on the pitch to improve it," Zidane said in the wake of the draw.

    However, Bale will not get the chance to continue in Madrid's XI this week after he was left out of the squad for the clash with Levante.

    The 30-year-old has reportedly been struggling with a stomach bug, which meant he was unable to train on Wednesday.

    Striker Luka Jovic has also missed out – with the Serbia international reportedly suffering from the same issue – while Rodrygo and Nacho do not feature in the 19-man squad.

    Eden Hazard, who made his comeback from injury against Celta, is included.

    Madrid have been boosted by the return to non-contact training of Marco Asensio, who has missed the entirety of the season due to a knee ligament injury.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.