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Thomas Tuchel on Bayern’s expectations, the Champions League, the Premier League, Harry Kane and Mathys Tel

The Bayern coach, who could reach a third Champions League final in five seasons, reveals his thoughts on a raft of subjects in this UEFA interview.

Thomas Tuchel has tasted the highs and lows of the UEFA Champions League, having been a beaten finalist with Paris in 2020 before scooping the biggest prize in European club football with Chelsea a year later. The 50-year-old is now eyeing a hat-trick of final appearances, after taking the reins at Bayern in March.

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In this interview with UEFA, Tuchel talks about his aspirations for the German champions, compares the Bundesliga and Premier League, and hails the mentality of forwards Harry Kane and Mathys Tel.

On the pressure and expectations at Bayern

When you feel the pressure, you know you are at a club that wants to win, where winning is part of the team’s philosophy. We create a lot of pressure on ourselves. I do this, too. We always want to have the perfect training session, a perfect week of training, and the perfect game. The expectations are extremely high. At Bayern, victories are expected and [must be] achieved while playing attractive football and [scoring] a lot of goals. Sometimes you can’t do it all but still, it’s something positive and pressure is part of the game.JAMB Result

Everyone who competes at a high level in any sport would agree with that. You also have to ignore it from time to time and feel comfortable at work, at meetings, during training, and when working with the team on the pitch. Then you begin to realise that the external pressure will never be greater than the pressure you put on yourself. I’m not 100% satisfied with how we are playing this season yet. We have still been very successful and we are finding ways to win games but we still have room for improvement. For me, we still haven’t finished adapting yet.InformationGuideNigeria

On Bayern’s Champions League group and the knockout stage

The competition is so tight now that the group stage is never easy anymore. I’ve never had an easy group stage. You have to be alert, wide awake, and focused for 90 minutes on what you’re doing. In a group with Galatasaray, Manchester United, and Copenhagen, you can’t allow yourself to make a single mistake, never mind two, so we are working on becoming more resilient and robust. We’re well on the way to this. We have turned a few games around after falling behind. We didn’t let it rattle us and we’re developing a certain toughness in this competition.

Ultimately it should always be our goal to get to the quarterfinals. If you win your group, you get to play against a second-placed team in the round of 16. From then on, a lot of it is the luck of the draw. Over the past few years, there have been huge differences in the quarter-finals. I think it makes a big difference whether you play against Manchester City or another club because they are the benchmark at the moment. It’s all a bit relative, of course, but first, we want to get into the knockout stage and then continue along that route. If you have a bit of luck with the draw, any team that gets into the quarter-finals can win it.

On the difference between the Bundesliga and Premier League

The Premier League is more robust and demands even more from the players than the Bundesliga. That’s certainly my impression. Mentally, physically, and psychologically, it’s at the highest level. That isn’t necessarily an advantage for the English teams, however, because playing in that competition is extremely stressful and then they also have to play in Europe.NYSC Portal

That’s why the teams are expanding. The squads are getting larger, and they rotate a lot more than they did a few years ago. Since they have started doing that, however, the English teams have become very competitive. There has been a trend towards robustness. In the last final, Pep [Guardiola] played a flat-back four with four center-backs and Rodri in front of them. It was very physical and robust, with very strong tackling. It’s an absolute necessity at this level.

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On summer signing Harry Kane

He’s more than talented; he’s absolutely world-class. He has talent, ability, aura, personality, modesty, and love and dedication to the game. We persuaded the captain of England to leave England and I think we can pat ourselves on the back for that for a while. He’s a huge signing. Harry has made a super start and will get even better the longer he trains with us and once his family arrives too. When he feels at home here, we’ll see his full potential.

He has a massive influence because you can’t underestimate the fact that everybody has some influence. He is the first one on the training pitch and has a certain relaxed attitude. He has a certain personality, he loves training. And if you are such a great player, everything that you do has an impact. Everything that you do in the dressing room is observed: how you come across, how open you are, when you go out onto the pitch, how you train. With him, everything is exemplary so it’s just good to have him here.

On Mathys Tel’s role and future

We consider [playing him for 90 minutes] every day, but the issue is that Mathys is handling this role [off the bench] so well at the moment that we don’t want to just abandon this role either. It’s very important to have someone who loves this role. And the team knows that when he comes on for half an hour or a quarter of an hour, he can change the game completely. He can give us energy; he can score the decisive goal. It’s an extremely important role. If I let him play right from the start, I might be missing someone who can play this role with the same passion, dedication, and quality. That’s why it’s a balancing act.JAMB Portal

We will have to observe how long Mathys keeps up this positive energy, for this role as well. That’s why we’ll keep playing him from the start between games, but we have a lot of competition. He’s 18 at the moment. It’s a great role for him. He does it so well because he completely embraces it and leaves his ego on the sidelines. It’s remarkable and that’s why we’re very happy.

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Emediong Silver

Emediong Ekpe is a graduate of English. A professional Sports journalist/analyst, and a spoken word artist. He is passionate about decimating information and putting smiles on people's faces via news writing. Whatapp: 08088735884

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