Werner getting 'stronger and stronger' – Tuchel not worried by striker's barren run

By Guy Atkinson 8 February 2021 10
Werner getting 'stronger and stronger' – Tuchel not worried by striker's barren run

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel insists Timo Werner is getting "stronger and stronger" despite the Germany international's goalless run in the Premier League now stretching to 14 games. 

Werner arrived at Stamford Bridge with a reputation as a prolific goalscorer following his move from Bundesliga side RB Leipzig ahead of the 2020-21 campaign. 

But the 24-year-old has scored just four times in 22 Premier League appearances, with his blank in Sunday's 2-1 win at Sheffield United stretching his barren run even further. 

While he did not get on the scoresheet, he was in the thick of the action as Chelsea made it three wins on the bounce under new boss Tuchel. 

His low cross was clinically dispatched by Mason Mount to put the Blues ahead shortly before the interval, bringing up his sixth assist in all competitions this season – the most of any Chelsea player. 

He then drew a foul from Blades goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, providing Jorginho with the opportunity to restore the visitors' advantage from the penalty spot following Antonio Rudiger's calamitous own goal. 

Despite another scoreless outing, Tuchel has no doubts Werner is on the right track to becoming a success at Chelsea. 

"It was a brilliant run for the first goal and it was great decision making for the second goal to go around the goalkeeper," said the former Paris Saint-Germain head coach.

"It was good defending from their defenders but he worked incredibly hard and disciplined against the ball. It gave him a boost. I feel he is getting stronger and stronger every day. Today he was more free and I could really feel him on the pitch.

"He was absolutely in the game mentally and physically and he was decisive. This is the most important thing because if he can continue like this the goals will come, for sure."

Tuchel has overseen three wins and one draw in his opening four games as Chelsea boss, with their one goal conceded the fewest through a manager's first four league games in charge since Guus Hiddink in 2009.

Their latest win moved them up to fifth, just one point behind fourth-place Liverpool, but Tuchel insists his side will not get ahead of themselves and are firmly focused on their FA Cup fifth-round clash with Barnsley on Thursday.

"What would it help to talk about it [finishing in he top four]?" he added. "It is clear that we are responsible now for a situation where we are close to where we want to be. We want to try everything to reach the top four and we said this very clearly when we started.

"So, now the guys put themselves in the situation where we are the hunters for the teams in front of us and we are close. It changes nothing because the next game in the league will be a home game and like everybody else we will be under the pressure to continue our run and build on the momentum. 

"Today is the best example. What will it help you if you see that Sheffield United are very, very low, but if you analyse the team you see their result against Manchester United.

"They are bottom of the league, but you have to come here, accept the challenge, play humble. This is what you do and from there on it is now the next challenge to improve, play in the FA Cup and the next game and keep on going. The future will take care of itself."

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Guy Atkinson

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