Thomas Tuchel has admitted that his side has not maintained their physical output in recent matches and that Chelsea have struggled to focus on individual matches in recent weeks.
The Blues have shown hot and cold form since returning from the last international break and have recorded just two wins in their last six matches.
The German coach acknowledged his players were playing for their place in the starting XI for the FA Cup final but emphasised that his squad’s consistency must improve rather than needing to find a reaction following each problematic performance.
Tuchel suggested his team may have become too comfortable and need to rediscover the mentality they had earlier in the season if they hope to be successful against not just Liverpool but Wolves and Leeds too.
The 48-year-old said ahead of the clash with Wolves: “Yes, sure. Yes, but it is always like this. But we should not confuse it that we play for Wembley. We play tomorrow for tomorrow. This is the mentality, and lately, not through the season, but lately, after the international break, we struggled with the focus on this very match. That was my impression. Then we had a huge reaction after Brentford and Real Madrid, at Southampton. And Wembley and struggled a bit, another reaction against West Ham, struggled again against Man U, maybe a bit too much praise for only one point, and then it can be a bit too comfortable. This is what I feel and what I saw in the Everton match.”
The Blues boss was unafraid to take responsibility for such deficiencies as he highlighted that the data behind performances has also expressed the drop in form that has seen the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham dramatically close the gap to Chelsea in the Premier League table.
With no midweek game in the build-up to the visit of Bruno Lage’s side, the Wolves boss will not make the trip himself.
Tuchel has had the rare opportunity to spend more time coaching on the training pitch instead of just managing his squad’s fitness.
The Blues have been able to bring more intensity to small-sided matches as a result of three consecutive days of training, facilitating tournaments.
The training pitch is where Tuchel believes recent issues will be fixed, with this week providing the opportunity to reset.
“The former Dortmund coach added:”It does not drive you crazy, or sometimes it does drive you crazy as a manager.
For me personally, I can just tell you that it always starts with me.
So I ask myself did I lose my 5 percent, 2 percent? Where could I have done where was my influence? Yes, no.
You analyse the data, and you see like also on a physical level that we drop intensity, we drop kilometres, we drop effort actually.
So you ask yourself, ‘Should I have been aware of it before? Should I have changed more positions, fresher legs? Was it the moment? Yes, no? Where did it come from?’ You will never be fully sure.
What you can do is you cannot get stuck in the past.
“I cannot even remember when we had a full week to prepare a match, so it was nice, and you see instantly the reaction because it’s not about talking in this moment of the season.”