Champions League

Tuchel: PSG job not dependent on UCL success

2018-09-18 08:58
Thomas Tuchel
Thomas Tuchel (AP)

Cape Town - PSG boss Thomas Tuchel has insisted that his job does not depend on him winning the Champions League.

The French club are yet to progress beyond the quarter-finals of the competition, despite spending hundreds of millions on players, including the world-record £200 million signing of Neymar.

With Laurent Blanc, Carlo Ancelotti, and Unai Emery all leaving the club after failing to deliver the coveted prize, the German denied that that winning it would ultimately make or break him in Paris.

"No-one has told me this, in all the talks, I have to win this otherwise I didn't do my job right," Tuchel said.

"If anyone had told me (that) I wouldn't have signed the contract.

"If we judge ourselves only by the biggest goal in European football, the possibility of a big disappointment is high. Why should we do this?

"Sometimes I feel sorry for my team because I know the effort they put in. We play at home against defensive teams and we win and win and win.

"It is not because it is easy, it is because these guys show the hunger to win and win and win. It is a point of view (that Ligue 1 is easy) that does not help us within the club."

Tuchel returns to Anfield for the first time since his Borussia Dortmund team suffered a dramatic late defeat in April 2016.

Dortmund were leading 4-2 with 25 minutes left in their Europa League quarter-final second leg only for Liverpool to net three goals, including one in stoppage time, to pull off a remarkable victory.

The PSG boss has not forgotten.

"We did handle it quite well. We were leading 2-0 and 3-1 (on the night) and then an outstanding goal from (Philippe) Coutinho changed everything," Tuchel said.

"It was a last-second defeat, just a step from a semi-final. I was asked if it still hurts me. I have to say I am more grateful that I was part of it.

"At Anfield, you need a lot of experience and courage. You can never feel comfortable against Jurgen's (Klopp) teams.

Tuchel added that at such an early stage it is folly to talk about favourites.

"It does not bring you one centimetre to a title if you talk about who is favourite and who is not," he said.

"It does not make sense to talk about what happens in the next year, we have a very complicated group.

"Every year you start new and in sports - if you want to go far - you have to get the experience you can to do a special thing. You catch the wave and you ride it.

"You see Liverpool have won five Champions League titles so they have experienced this and we are still working against this.

"For this we are a challenger in the Champions League and not one of the favourites.

"But I am pretty confident this type of game and opponent bring the best out of us."

 

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