EPL

Tuchel opens door to signing new contract: I feel like part of the Chelsea family

By Sports Desk April 18, 2021

Thomas Tuchel says he already feels like part of the Chelsea family and is open to signing a new contract if the club feel he deserves to stay on.

The 47-year-old replaced Frank Lampard in the Stamford Bridge dugout in January on an initial 18-month deal with the possibility of an extension.

He has enjoyed an impressive start to life at Chelsea, winning 13, drawing four and losing only two of his first 19 matches in charge.

That run has taken the Blues into the semi-finals of the Champions League and final of the FA Cup, as well as putting their Premier League top-four hopes back in their own hands.

Tuchel admits he was initially anxious about the length of the deal he signed but is driven to succeed in west London and earn an extended contract.

"I had these concerns and after 15 minutes I said to myself it changes nothing how many years the contract says," he said.

"I demand to deliver, to have an impact and be the best I can. If I deserve to stay, I want to stay as long as possible. 

"I feel like part of the Chelsea family. It is super professional, we have unbelievable support and I want to fight on the touchline with this team.

"So I don't care what it says on my contract. I need to deserve to stay longer. If I deserve to stay longer, then I will stay longer.

"This is what I demand from myself. I feel free at the moment, I feel good - I'm in the right place at the right moment.

"Everything will fall into place when it is there and if I want to stay longer I need to deliver week in, week out."

Former Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain boss Tuchel made history by going unbeaten in his first 14 games, which is the most ever by a Chelsea manager.

The Blues beat Manchester City 1-0 at Wembley on Saturday to reach the FA Cup final, where Leicester City await, making Tuchel the first German boss to ever reach the showpiece.

Asked how he would have felt upon signing the contract three months ago knowing the club would be battling on three fronts at this stage, Tuchel said: "I would've said 'Okay, let's start immediately!'

"I would've said this is quite a huge target, but there was no time to think about these things. 

"The flight from Paris to London we thought about training and the first match against Wolves. Maybe this was good because you don't start thinking too far ahead, don't look at the goals in the future. 

"To reach all these things you need to be ready to constantly progress, me as a manager, we as a staff, and every player in this club needs to commit to this approach. 

"This is what we do, what I demand of myself and everybody from the staff."

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    "We definitely want to keep Erling with us next season. You can see his value, you saw how committed he is last Saturday against Leipzig, with joy.

    "Besides we still have it in our own hands, we just have to win twice more now. We have managed the club solidly for so many years, when we go into the second or third year of the coronavirus, then we have to take out a few loans at some point we will pay them back.

    "But there is absolutely no economic need to sell him, regardless of whether it is a Europa League or Champions League."

    Watzke also casually revealed that interim head coach Edin Terzic had extended his deal with the club to presumably work as an assistant under Marco Rose.

    "Edin Terzic did a great job," he said. "He took over the team in December, it was half dead, and he brought it to life. That is a huge achievement at his first coaching station.

    "He's holding the keys in his hand. He extended a long-term contract a few weeks ago.

    "He's a Dortmund boy, he lives and breathes the club. If Edin wants to do something different, then we have to work with him. But we won't do that now."

    Terzic was delighted with the DFB-Pokal success but remained focused on the bigger picture, with Dortmund determined to confirm a top four league spot with two games to play.

    "That was definitely not our best game, but we found the key to success," he said.

    "Now we all deserve to enjoy this evening tonight but the season is not over for us yet."

    Outgoing Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann, who will finish his time at the club without a trophy, said it was a "painful" loss.

    "You can imagine that I'm not doing well but it's not about me, it's about the club," he said.

    "It's painful. I know what the headlines are like now… We still have two Bundesliga games that are not that pleasant. I'm not thinking about my move [to Bayern Munich] now.

    "I'm proud of the boys. "We weren't the worse team, we just scored fewer goals. Dortmund makes a lot out of a little."

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