Loftus-Cheek: Tuchel cancelling day off was not seen as 'punishment'

Ruben Loftus-Cheek insists Chelsea players did NOT feel ‘punished’ after Thomas Tuchel cancelled their day off on the back of Saturday’s draw vs Wolves, as it instead allowed them to get back on ‘the same wavelength’ ahead of their crucial trip to Leeds

  • Thomas Tuchel cancelled his Chelsea players’ day off from training on Sunday
  • The Blues boss made the decision after they blew a two-goal lead vs Wolves
  • Tuchel admitted some of his players may have seen his move as a ‘punishment’
  • But Ruben Loftus-Cheek has denied that the dressing room took it in that way
  • He instead claims it was helpful for the squad to discuss their woes together 

Ruben Loftus-Cheek has denied claims that Chelsea players felt ‘punished’ after being called in by Thomas Tuchel on their day off from training.

Tuchel admitted he risked the wrath of his players by cancelling their rest day on Sunday, a stern reaction to their disappointing 2-2 draw at home to Wolves 24 hours earlier.

Despite leading 2-0 with little over 10 minutes of normal time remaining, the Blues somehow left Stamford Bridge with just a point after Francisco Trincao pulled one back and Conor Coady equalised in the 97th minute.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek says Thomas Tuchel cancelling Chelsea players’ day off from training on Sunday was not seen as a ‘punishment’

It was a heavy blow for Chelsea in their race for Champions League qualification, with Arsenal and Tottenham hot on their heels in fourth and fifth place respectively.

And Tuchel responded by calling them in on their post-match day off, before conceding: ‘It was normally a free day and of course maybe some felt it was a punishment but it wasn’t.’

Now Loftus-Cheek, who played the full 90 minutes against Wolves, has insisted Tuchel’s decision was not viewed as a punishment in the dressing room. 

‘You’d love to have a game done in the 60th minute but you rarely get that in this league,’ the midfielder told Sky Sports. ‘We went into the training ground the next day.

Tuchel made the call after they blew a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw with Wolves on Saturday

The Blues boss admitted some of his players may have viewed his decision as a ‘punishment’

‘I don’t think the players saw it as a punishment at all. We came in and recovered. Sometimes it’s better to do that when there’s a short turnaround to another game.

‘We had a chat amongst ourselves just to make sure we’re all on the same page and the same wavelength going into the Leeds game. It’s important for us to stay together.’

Chelsea did not have time to reflect on the draw with Wolves for too long, as their attention had to shift to Wednesday night’s now-crucial clash with Leeds at Elland Road.

They are in desperate need of three points in the race for top four, as well as for a morale boost ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final against Liverpool.

But Loftus-Cheek, who played 90 minutes on the day, has insisted that was not the case

Chelsea have another big week on the horizon, with Leeds to come on Wednesday night and an FA Cup final against Liverpool in store on Saturday

Tuchel’s men have two huge outings in the space of 72 hours, and Loftus-Cheek says they are fully acclimatised to the short break in between fixtures.

‘We’re used to these turnarounds now,’ he says. ‘We’ve played in all the competitions this season towards the latter stages and at a top club, you have to be able to switch your focus onto the closest game. For us, all of our focus is on Leeds and getting the job done. 

‘Qualifying again for the Champions League is huge. This club deserves to be in the competition every season and we want to reflect that again in the final few games as for the most part we’ve been fantastic – especially in Europe. We want to get this over the line.’ 

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