Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo believes Mauricio Pochettino can help refine the Ligue 1 club's identity.

Thomas Tuchel was sacked as PSG coach in December, with former Tottenham boss Pochettino confirmed as his replacement on January 2.

Leonardo said it was crucial for Pochettino to ensure PSG had their own defining philosophy but acknowledged that would take time.

"I think it's important to assert a style on the pitch, because Paris must have its identity," he told France Football.

"It does not happen in a few weeks but over several years. And I think Pochettino can allow us to refine that in a constant way and in connection with the DNA of the club."

Tuchel led PSG to back-to-back Ligue 1 titles and they reached the Champions League final last year before falling to Bayern Munich.

Leonardo said the decision to sack the German should have come as little surprise to the former Borussia Dortmund coach.

"We knew, and he [Tuchel] knew, that it would be difficult to renew his contract at the end of the season," he said.

"But there, we decided to anticipate a little. We did not change coaches to show off. I don't think it could be a surprise for Tuchel.

"It was not the first time that we discussed the situation together. Maybe he didn't understand me anymore."

PSG are top of the Ligue 1 table ahead of hosting Montpellier on Friday.

Mauricio Pochettino acknowledged the role Thomas Tuchel played in his first managerial trophy as Paris Saint-Germain beat Marseille 2-1 in the Trophee des Champions on Wednesday.

Mauro Icardi and Neymar – the Brazil international's 18th successful penalty from the 19 he has taken for PSG – scored for the Ligue 1 champions, while Dimitri Payet set up a tense finale with an 89th-minute strike for Andre Villas-Boas' side. 

PSG held on, though, to claim a record eighth consecutive Trophee des Champions crown and their 10th overall midweek.

It was only Pochettino's third game in charge of PSG and the former Tottenham boss made sure he recognised the work of Tuchel, who was dismissed as head coach on December 29. 

"I want to thank the players, Leonardo [sporting director] and Nasser Al-Khelaifi [president]," Pochettino – a Champions League and EFL Cup runner-up with Spurs – said. "I also have a thought for Thomas Tuchel and his staff, who allowed us to play this match."

"We are making progress in all areas where we want to implement our ideas. We have a very intelligent group of players, with great adaptability. We are very happy.

"I hope to win other titles, but the first one will always be special.

"The group has shown a lot of maturity, it has learned from its mistakes. It's a huge emotion to win with this staff, it's difficult to describe in words, especially since it's a club that made me become a better person, a better player."

Marseille finished the game having had four shots on target to PSG's three, although the Parisians enjoyed a whopping 63.6 per cent possession and completed 268 more passes than their opponents. 

Despite that, Villas-Boas believes his side did not deserve to lose. 

"It was a balanced game, with few chances for both teams," he said. "We were the best team. I think we didn't deserve to lose this game. PSG going 2-0 up went against the run of play

"Congratulations to PSG. The best honour they gave us was the party that followed, because we offered them a difficult match."

Thomas Tuchel was overperforming at Paris Saint-Germain this season and did not deserve to be sacked, according to his assistant Zsolt Low.

PSG finally confirmed Tuchel's dismissal on Tuesday after days of speculation, bringing an end to his two and a half year stay at the Parc des Princes.

The German coach won back-to-back Ligue 1 titles in his two full campaigns and also won the Coupe de France, Coupe de la Ligue and two Trophee des Champions.

Tuchel also guided PSG to a maiden Champions League final in 2019-20, where they were beaten 1-0 by Bayern Munich.

But he endured a fractious relationship with sporting director Leonardo after publicly calling out the club's transfer chief over a lack of spending heading into this season.

Not helped by a number of injury issues and a lack of pre-season, PSG lost four and drew two of their opening 17 Ligue 1 matches and entered the mid-season break down in third.

However, they beat Strasbourg 4-0 in what proved to be Tuchel's last match and are just a point behind top two sides Lyon and Lille, having also advanced from a tricky Champions League group and into the last 16.

Low has outlined the details behind Tuchel's sacking and says the timing of the decision came as a shock.

"We were surprised because on December 23, after winning a match 4-0 against Strasbourg, Leonardo brought us together to say that the club was no longer counting on Thomas for the future," he told Hungarian outlet Nemzeti Sport. 

"After facing considerable difficulties in 2020, after achieving historic success with PSG, after going through the group stage of the Champions League, and with the team in full swing in the league, it made the decision very difficult to understand. 

"And the fact that we were impacted by numerous injuries throughout the season, and had to come up against COVID-19. I think that it was a great professional success to finish the year the way we did. We overperformed, that is the truth."

Tuchel appeared to criticise PSG in an interview published on the day of the Strasbourg victory, in which he also admitted managing the club was more like being a "politician".

Although surprised at the timing of the sacking, Low concedes the tense relationship between Tuchel and Leonardo meant something eventually had to give.

"We were shocked," he said. "The summer window did not go as we wanted, the main players who left after the Champions League run were not correctly replaced. 

"That created tensions between certain board members and the staff, as well as with the sporting director who was espousing management principles that were different to that of the coach.

"I don't want to delve into the details. They had different ideas in a number of domains, and the difference in viewpoint accrued over time. This led to Leonardo deciding to create a future with a different staff. 

"To be honest this situation could not have lasted. It was better to stop now, nearly at the summit, to say goodbye with a great majority of wonderful memories. Not to have followed Thomas would have gone against my values."

Low, who has previously worked as assistant boss at Salzburg and RB Leipzig, added: "Before, I had the opportunity to take the place of managers at Salzburg and Leipzig, and I did not take those opportunities. 

"When I fight alongside someone, it is for better or worse. The professional relationship between Thomas and I is extremely tight, he keeps his word, he counts on me, that is why I feel part of the successes. 

"And the failures too. I arrived at PSG upon his call two and a half years ago, I was alongside him at all times."

PSG announced Mauricio Pochettino as Tuchel's successor on Saturday, with his first game in charge away at Saint-Etienne on Wednesday.

New Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino says he is honoured to take charge of "some of the world's most talented players".

The former Tottenham boss signed a contract until June 2022, which includes an option for a further year, with the Ligue 1 champions on Saturday.

Pochettino replaces Thomas Tuchel, whose dismissal was finally confirmed on Tuesday after reports of his sacking initially emerged on Christmas Eve.

After his appointment was confirmed, Pochettino discussed his pride and ambition after returning to the club he played for between 2001 and 2003.

The prospect of managing the likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe was one about which he was already excited.

"I am really happy and honoured to become the new coach of Paris Saint-Germain," Pochettino, 48, told his new club's website

"I would like to thank the club's management for the trust they have placed in me. 

"As you know, this club has always held a special place in my heart. I have wonderful memories, especially of the unique atmosphere of the Parc des Princes. 

"I return to the club today with a lot of ambition and humility, and am eager to work with some of the world's most talented players. 

"This team has fantastic potential and my staff and I will do everything we can to get the best for Paris Saint-Germain in all competitions. 

"We will also do our utmost to give our team the combative and attacking playing identity that Parisian fans have always loved."

PSG chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi felt the appointment meant Pochettino had returned to his footballing home.

"We are very pleased to welcome Mauricio Pochettino as first team coach," he said.

"I am proud to see our former captain returning to Paris Saint-Germain, as the club has always remained his home. 

"The return of Mauricio fits perfectly with our ambitions and it will be another exciting chapter for the club and one I am positive the fans will enjoy. 

"With the appointment of Mauricio Pochettino, Paris Saint-Germain is committed to continue to build and move the club forward over the coming years."

Pochettino, previously linked with the Real Madrid and Manchester United jobs, was sacked by Spurs in November last year after five impressive years in charge in north London.

Although he failed to win a trophy, he turned Spurs into regular top-four contenders and Premier League title hopefuls, while taking them to the Champions League final in 2019, where they lost to Liverpool.

Tuchel was sacked after an inconsistent start to the 2020-21 season despite having guided PSG to their first Champions League final in August, where they lost 1-0 to Bayern Munich.

PSG are third in Ligue 1, one point behind leaders Lyon, while Barcelona will be their last-16 opponents in the Champions League next month.

Pochettino's first game in charge will be on Wednesday, when PSG play away to Saint-Etienne in the league.

Paris Saint-Germain have appointed Mauricio Pochettino as their new head coach.

The former Tottenham boss has signed a contract until June 2022, with the option for a further year, with the Ligue 1 champions. He will replace Thomas Tuchel, whose dismissal was finally confirmed on Tuesday after days of speculation.

The German was sacked after an inconsistent start to the 2020-21 season despite having guided PSG to their first Champions League final in August, where they lost 1-0 to Bayern Munich.

Defeats in this season's group stage to Manchester United and RB Leipzig had put Tuchel under pressure, although he was able to lead his side into the last 16 after winning their final three games.

However, there were suggestions PSG's hierarchy had concerns about Tuchel's ability to guide his team past Barcelona in the knockout phase.

Four defeats in 17 Ligue 1 matches, leaving PSG a point behind leaders Lyon, also counted against Tuchel, while a public spat with sporting director Leonardo over transfers appeared to weaken his position further.

Pochettino, previously linked with the Real Madrid and Manchester United jobs, was sacked by Spurs in November last year after five impressive years in charge in north London.

Although he failed to win a trophy, the former Espanyol and Southampton boss turned Spurs into regular top-four contenders and Premier League title hopefuls, while he took them to the Champions League final in 2019, where they lost to Liverpool.

After taking charge in 2014, Pochettino led Spurs to four top-four finishes in five full seasons, twice the number they managed in their previous 22 Premier League campaigns.

He reached 100 wins in the competition in 197 games, the sixth quickest in history alongside Liverpool great Kenny Dalglish.

However, Spurs' domestic form suffered badly in 2019 as they tallied 18 defeats in all competitions from January 1 to November 19, when Pochettino was dismissed.

Pochettino has won admirers throughout his coaching career for getting his teams to adopt high-pressing and attacking football, qualities which have become demands of PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi in recent seasons.

When Tuchel was appointed in 2018, Al-Khelaifi said: "He abides by very strong principles of playing spectacular and clinical football that has always been the foundation of German football, especially on the international scene.

"His competitive spirit, his preference for attacking football and his strong character are in line with what we have always wanted for PSG - this style that our loyal supporters have always demanded and admired."

Paris Saint-Germain have used the mid-season break to replace Thomas Tuchel with Mauricio Pochettino, and the new head coach has some big issues to contend with.

A 4-0 win over Strasbourg before the mid-season break was not enough to spare Tuchel, who was relieved of his duties after two and a half years at the helm.

Tuchel left PSG having won six trophies in the French capital, while also taking the club to the brink of a long-awaited Champions League success last term.

PSG ultimately came up short, going down 1-0 to a dominant Bayern Munich in the final.

Tuchel remained in place for the new season but was only been able to guide the club to third in Ligue 1, with the Parisians losing four of their 17 matches.

Pochettino spent over two years with PSG in his playing days and was picked to take over the reins at the Parc des Princes, signing a contract until June 2022 with an option for a further year.

Here are the major issues Pochettino must contend with.

 

ASSERT LIGUE 1 DOMINANCE

While the Champions League is clearly the be-all and end-all for PSG's Qatari owners, the bedrock of their success is domestic supremacy.

Over the past eight seasons, PSG have only failed to win the Ligue 1 title once – during Unai Emery's first season in charge, when a Kylian Mbappe-inspired Monaco charged to glory.

Tuchel had little trouble in claiming back-to-back championships, albeit last season's Ligue 1 campaign was curtailed in April due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, with the congested nature of 2020-21 making life tough for all of Europe's biggest teams, PSG find themselves point behind joint-leaders Lille and Lyon, the latter of whom recently claimed their first league win at Parc des Princes since 2007.

It is hardly an unassailable gap, though the first task for PSG's new head coach will be to return to the top of the pile, while defending their Coupe de France crown will also provide another chance for a trophy.

SECURE THAT ALL-IMPORTANT CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Ultimately, any coach at PSG is judged on their success – or lack thereof – in Europe.

Tuchel pushed PSG further than any other coach has in the Champions League since Qatar Sports Investments' takeover, but it was still not enough to stop Hansi Flick's Bayern completing an incredible treble.

PSG were inconsistent in this season's condensed group stage, losing at home to Manchester United and away to RB Leipzig, before a 3-1 win at Old Trafford and a 5-1 victory over Istanbul Basaksehir secured their place in the knockout stages.

Ronald Koeman's iffy Barcelona team await in the last 16, and there has arguably never been a better time to face the Catalan giants in Europe – although Bayern's 8-2 rout back in August may suggest differently.

Crucial to any push for silverware in UEFA's elite club competition will be getting the best out of Neymar and Mbappe. The latter missed some big chances in last season's final, and only against Basaksehir did he end a year-long run without a Champions League goal (nine games).

KEEP NEYMAR AND MBAPPE, AND THROW IN MESSI FOR GOOD MEASURE

PSG's sporting director Leonardo has confirmed contract discussions are underway with Neymar and Mbappe.

France star Mbappe has already scored 104 times across all competitions for PSG, though Real Madrid and Barca have regularly been touted as suitors – then again, which of Europe's elite clubs would not want the 22-year-old in their ranks?

Neymar, meanwhile, has consistently been linked with a move back to Barca, but that transfer is looking increasingly unlikely.

Indeed, the prospect of the Brazil superstar linking up with Lionel Messi once more seems much more likely to occur in Paris than at Camp Nou.

Messi begrudgingly decided to stay and see out the remaining year of his Barca contract but has started to hit better form again – he has scored six times in his past eight league games to surpass Pele's record of 643 goals for one club.

Koeman believes Messi is happy at Barca, but as it stands the 33-year-old is set to become the most highly sought-after free agent in history at the end of 2020-21.

While it was Manchester City and Pep Guardiola who were credited as frontrunners in the close season, PSG's owners certainly have the ambition – and funds – to make a transfer come to fruition, and it may well be down to the coach to swing Messi towards Paris, rather than the Premier League or a Barca extension.

Pochettino has previously spoken of his desire to work alongside his compatriot, and it may well be a perfect match.

Paris Saint-Germain have appointed Mauricio Pochettino as their new head coach.

 

Paris Saint-Germain have confirmed the departure of Thomas Tuchel midway through his third season with the French champions.

The former Borussia Dortmund boss won two straight Ligue 1 titles and took PSG to the Champions League final last season.

But he has paid the price for a slow start to the 2020-21 season amid reports of problems behind the scenes.

We have used Opta statistics to review Tuchel's reign, with Mauricio Pochettino seemingly poised to replace him.
 

ON A PAR WITH EMERY

PSG's dominance of Ligue 1 in his first two seasons means Tuchel leaves with a record that looks similar to that of his predecessor Unai Emery.

Tuchel had a record of 2.37 points per game in Ligue 1, which is exactly the same as the mark recorded by Emery and tied for the best in club history.

Among other recent PSG bosses, Laurent Blanc (2.35) was not too far behind, though Carlo Ancelotti (2.14) fared less well at an earlier stage of the club's project.

Tuchel had a top-flight win rate of 75.6 per cent (62 wins from 82 games). That is the highest PSG league win percentage, just clear of Emery (73.7).

However, once all competitions are factored in, Tuchel ends up just behind the former Arsenal and Sevilla head coach.

Emery had a total PSG win rate of 76.3 despite never making it as far as Tuchel did in the Champions League, while the German's final mark was 74.8 per cent.
 

UNWANTED HISTORY

PSG's decision to sack Tuchel came after a 4-0 win over Strasbourg last week, making him only the second Ligue 1 boss ever to be sacked mid-season immediately after winning by at least four goals.

The other was Leonardo Jardim, who was later re-hired by Monaco after Thierry Henry struggled as his replacement. 

Tuchel is the first head coach to be fired during a season despite sitting in the top three of Ligue 1 since another man who fell victim to a QSI sacking at PSG: Antoine Kombouare in the 2011-12 campaign.


GOALS GALORE BUT 19 DEFEATS

Only Blanc (173) took charge of more than Tuchel's 127 PSG matches over the QSI era.

Under Tuchel, who could call upon superstars Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, PSG averaged 2.67 goals per game in Ligue 1.

That was the best league scoring record of any PSG boss in history, although Emery (2.74) had a higher mark than Tuchel (2.65) when it came to all competitions.

Tuchel did suffer 19 defeats, more than any boss since QSI took over in 2011.

Emery only lost 12 times in 114 games, while Blanc lost only 16 despite being in charge of 46 more matches than Tuchel.

Both Tuchel and Emery conceded 0.81 goals per game, falling short of the impressive 0.73 under Blanc's stewardship.

Blanc's teams were less of an attacking force, though, averaging 2.26 goals per game in all competitions, while under Ancelotti that figure was 1.99.

Paris Saint-Germain have confirmed the sacking of head coach Thomas Tuchel.

Tuchel's departure was reported on Christmas Eve, but there was no official word from the Ligue 1 champions until Tuesday morning.

PSG have now released a statement confirming Tuchel has departed after "an in-depth analysis of its sporting situation."

Thomas Tuchel's tenure as Paris Saint-Germain head coach is all but over.

Tuchel will reportedly be replaced by Mauricio Pochettino, despite leading PSG to Ligue 1 glory last season and the Champions League final.

Can former PSG defender Pochettino help the French giants conquer Europe?

 

TOP STORY – POCH SET FOR PSG

Mauricio Pochettino has agreed terms to take charge of Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Thomas Tuchel's sacking is set to be announced after striking a deal with PSG to leave immediately – the compensation worth €6million, reports Bild.

Former Tottenham manager Pochettino is now poised to return to PSG, where he played between 2001 and 2003.

 

ROUND-UP

Diego Costa has requested to leave Atletico Madrid in January, claims Diario AS and Marca. If Costa is unable to depart during the next window, the veteran striker will farewell Atletico on a free transfer at season's end.

Wolves have joined the chase to sign Real Madrid outcast Luka Jovic, says The Athletic. Wolves are keen to bolster their attack following Raul Jimenez's serious injury and Jovic has emerged as a loan option for the Premier League side. Milan have also been heavily linked with the Serbia international.

Georginio Wijnaldum wants time to reflect on Liverpool's contract offer, reports Fabrizio Romano. Wijnaldum is set to become a free agent amid links to Barca.

- The Mirror reports Arsenal are circling for Brighton and Hove Albion full-back Tariq Lamptey should Hector Bellerin depart for Barcelona. Lamptey has been linked to Manchester City and Bayern Munich.

Sevilla are eyeing a January swoop for Marseille star Florian Thauvin, according to Andaluz Estadio Deportivo. Milan have also been tracking the Frenchman.

- Corriere dello Sport says Juventus and Inter remain keen on signing Udinese's Rodrigo De Paul. Meanwhile, Ilbianconeri claims Juve have been offered Arsenal outcast Mesut Ozil.

Manchester United remain in contact with Moises Caicedo's agents to sign the Independiente del Valle sensation, says Romano. The 19-year-old Ecuadorian midfielder wants to move to Old Trafford.

Paris Saint-Germain have sacked head coach Thomas Tuchel a day after they hammered Strasbourg 4-0, according to widespread reports.

Tuchel has come under increasing pressure this season, with champions PSG third in Ligue 1 after losing four of their 17 matches.

A rout of struggling Strasbourg on Wednesday came too late for the German boss, who was reportedly relieved of his duties on Christmas Eve.

Former Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino, who spent over two years with PSG in his playing days, looks poised to replace the 47-year-old.

Tuchel masterminded back-to-back Ligue 1 title triumphs after he was appointed in May 2018, also winning the Coupe de France, Coupe de la Ligue and claiming the Trophee des Champions twice.

PSG missed out on a maiden Champions League success when they were beaten 1-0 by Bayern Munich in the final in August.

Tuchel endured a fractious relationship with sporting director Leonardo, but the Brazilian last month stated that the club had never considered sacking the former Borussia Dortmund head coach.

Criticism of PSG's lack of transfer business from Tuchel, whose contract was due to expire at the end of this season, did not go down well with Leonardo during the previous window.

PSG lost their first two Ligue 1 matches of the campaign amid a coronavirus outbreak and Tuchel then suggested a repeat of the 2019-20 campaign could not be expected due to a lack of investment in the playing squad.

Despite a less than vintage start domestically, Tuchel guided last year's runners-up into the Champions League round of 16 as Group H winners.

His replacement will do battle with Barcelona for a place in the quarter-finals.

Thomas Tuchel enjoys the challenge of managing Paris Saint-Germain and insists he was mistranslated when suggesting the job is more about politics than coaching.

PSG rounded off 2020 with a routine 4-0 win over Strasbourg in Ligue 1 on Wednesday through goals from Timothee Pembele, Kylian Mbappe, Idrissa Gueye and Moise Kean.

A few hours ahead of the match, an interview with Tuchel was published by SPORT1 in which the German opened up on the demands of managing such a big club.

The 47-year-old said it can be difficult keeping players such as Neymar and Mbappe happy, while also admitting he is "sad" his achievements are often played down.

Tuchel was also quoted as saying he felt more like "a sports politician or sports minister than a coach" during his first season in the French capital.

However, Tuchel attempted to clarify the comments when questioned in the aftermath of his side's win against Strasbourg.

"I didn't say it's more about politics than sport, nor that I lost the fun of training. This is not true," he told Canal+. "It is possible they translated incorrectly.

"Watch the video interview. I just said that PSG are unique and that it's a big challenge for me. It's always been like that. I like this challenge and nothing has changed."

Asked again about the interview at his post-match news conference, Tuchel added: "I gave a video interview to a journalist who told me to do a story about German coaches.

"It is not an interview for him. It is not allowed.

"I was making a joke in German. The translation is not correct. We cannot translate word for word. It was a joke while we were talking and it is not allowed."

PSG enter the mid-season break sitting third in Ligue 1, one point behind Lyon and Lille following their victories over Nantes and Montpellier respectively.

The reigning champions took the lead inside 18 minutes through Pembele but had to wait until 11 minutes from time for Mbappe to add a second from close range.

Two more goals from substitutes Gueye and Kean followed late on in a game the home side bossed, seeing 69 per cent of the ball and managing eight shots on target to their opponents' two.

"It was a strong performance from us," Tuchel said. "And this after a very demanding first half to the season. I'm very happy today because it was a win we deserved.

"We were again missing a lot of players due to injury but were serious and disciplined with our play. That is a big compliment to the team.

"Our ranking in the table is what it is, but we know why we're here. It would have been more difficult to take if we didn't know the reasons.

"I am happy because the team has shown in the last two games we can play well."

Pembele's sliding finish was his first goal for PSG on just his fifth appearance, the teenage defender scoring from one of his rare forays forward.

He was fielded at right wing-back and played fewer passes in the opposition half (16) than any outfield PSG starter, but he showed good instincts to bag a goal that he dedicated to his parents.

"It's a great emotion for me tonight," he said. "I played in a position where I had to attack and follow all the balls. I scored my first professional goal and I'm very happy with it.

"It's a very nice Christmas present for my parents. The coach told me when there is room to attack. It was difficult since they had five at the back.

"But we were able to get the ball rolling and find ways to score. It's hard to find a place in the side, but we have a lot of games and there are also five substitutions."

Thomas Tuchel is "sad and angry" that his achievements as Paris Saint-Germain boss are often played down.

The German coach has won six trophies during his two full seasons at the Parc des Princes, including the Ligue 1 title in back-to-back campaigns.

PSG completed a clean sweep of domestic honours last season and reached their first Champions League final, where they were beaten 1-0 by Bayern Munich in a tight contest.

Tuchel has regularly had his job called into question, though, particularly this campaign following an underwhelming start to their latest Ligue 1 title defence.

But Tuchel has defended his record in the French capital and suggested too much is being asked of him.

"We were one game from winning the Champions League," he told SPORT1. "We never had the feeling we had convinced people and that they recognised our achievement. It sometimes makes you a little sad and angry.

"There are definitely extreme expectations here. You get the feeling the appreciation for what we do, particularly in the league, is not there as it is at, say, Bayern Munich.

"They always say, 'They have [Angel] Di Maria, [Kylian] Mbappe, Neymar. Of course they win against Bordeaux - that's not an achievement.'

"And with that there is no appreciation for our discipline, sustained play, the intensity of our play.

"It's a shame for the players because very serious team performances can be completely wiped out."

Tuchel's position as PSG head coach appears to be safe again after recovering to advance through a tricky Champions League group and into the knockout stages.

The French champions finished ahead of RB Leipzig, Manchester United and Istanbul Basaksehir to set up a last-16 tie with fellow heavyweights Barcelona.

"We know how difficult it was to win that group," Tuchel said. "You sometimes have to celebrate that with the team in order not to get bitter.

"We do our best every day with the best possible energy. Resistance makes you stronger during your career because you have to learn to deal with these things. If everything is always good, you won't get any better.

"You cannot make yourself dependent on what others think. You have to remain yourself, then you learn to go again."

Tuchel arrived at PSG in May 2018, a year after departing Borussia Dortmund, and has worked with Mbappe and Neymar for the past two and a half years.

The pair have played a key part in the club's recent success but Tuchel admitted it can be difficult to keep players of their ilk happy.

"Sometimes it's very easy, sometimes it's a big challenge," he said. "At a club like PSG there are many influences. That's why it can be very challenging to keep all the guys happy.

"Honestly, in the first six months here it felt like I was more of a sports politician or sports minister than a coach."

Following spells with German and French giants Dortmund and PSG, Tuchel hinted he will consider coaching a smaller club in the future.

"I don't know whether it has to be higher, higher, higher," he said. "I just like football. In a club like this, it's not always just about the football.

"Sometimes I make a substitution and it's a topic for two weeks. I think to myself, 'I just want to coach.'

"I know why I became a coach. I can find what I'm after anywhere there is half a space for me to train and a DVD player for me to make videos.

"But when you hear the Champions League anthem, you see things in training that simply inspire you because there's so much quality, then you become addicted.

"At heart I love the game and can find that satisfaction in many ways as a coach."

Kylian Mbappe's fitness struggles are causing a headache for Thomas Tuchel ahead of injury-hit Paris Saint-Germain's Ligue 1 clash with Strasbourg on Wednesday.

The rapid France striker has been struggling with his left adductors since PSG defeated Lorient 2-0 last week and his status to feature against Strasbourg remains in doubt.

Presnel Kimpembe, Layvin Kurzawa (both hamstring) and Alessandro Florenzi (ankle) have added to a PSG injury list that sits at 10 players, while the absence of Mbappe would make it 11.

Asked at a pre-match news conference how he plans to manage the situation, head coach Tuchel replied: "I don't know what to do for tomorrow, I haven't decided yet in terms of who is going to play.

"Some guys are at risk with their injuries, I haven't decided yet, I still need to talk to the doctor and to the physio about players and wait for the training session later."

With a lengthy list of absentees and the January transfer window just around the corner, Tuchel was asked if the situation will enhance the need for reinforcements.

"The situation is as it is right now, we don't know what we will do in the transfer window, I haven't thought about it too much to be honest," he replied.

"We always need to adapt to the current situation, we had a spell in the Champions League and the group phase was difficult, I couldn't think about anything else.

"The most important thing is to have fewer injuries. That's my focus right now."

Thomas Tuchel warned such a demanding schedule will "kill the players" after Paris Saint-Germain suffered another three injuries in a goalless Ligue 1 draw with Lille.

Tuchel already had to contend with a lengthy list of absentees before facing fellow title hopefuls Lille at Stade Pierre-Mauroy, with Neymar and Mauro Icardi among the stars to be sidelined.

Kylian Mbappe is also not fully fit and was restricted to a late substitute appearance on his 22nd birthday as the champions missed a chance to go top at the expense of their opponents.

PSG then lost Presnel Kimpembe, Alessandro Florenzi and Layvin Kurzawa in Sunday's clash, so they face the prospect of being even more depleted when they take on Strasbourg on Wednesday.

Tuchel hit out over the fixture list following a stalemate that leaves his side a point behind leaders Lille and second-placed Lyon.

He told Telefoot after PSG's first goalless Ligue 1 draw since he took over: "You already know my opinion, we are going to kill the players.

"We are always allowed to play at nine o'clock [in the evening]. We lack the rhythm to eat, sleep, recover. But it will continue like this.

"Today, we miss Neymar, Kylian, Mauro, Juan (Bernat). Are we surprised? No. Three new players are injured now. Well done."

A positive was the return of captain Marquinhos from a hip injury and the defender knows PSG must be more ruthless after just one of their eight shots was on target, Moise Kean particularly wasteful.

"We were able to control the match but we could have been more dangerous," the skipper told Telefoot. "We had to be well organised. 

"This is an important point for us, but if we are always looking for victory."

Page 1 of 17
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.