Chelsea left-back Ben Chilwell dismissed any suggestions claiming there has been a change in mentality since Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard. Lampard was sacked as Chelsea boss in January and Tuchel took over the reins at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues host FC Porto in the second-leg quarter-finals of the Champions League on Tuesday. They go into the game with two crucial away goals. And they are favourites to reach the semi-finals of the competition for the first time since the 2013-14 campaign.
If they qualify for the semi-final on Tuesday, they will face the winner between Liverpool and Real Madrid. The Los Blancos won the home leg 3-1, with the return leg scheduled on Wednesday.
Chelsea will go into the game on the back of an impressive 4-1 win against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in the Premier League. The win put them back in fifth, one point behind fourth-placed West Ham United, with seven games remaining.
The transition from Lampard to Tuchel:
No one would have thought Chelsea would be on the verge of qualifying for the semi-finals of the Champions League in January. But the arrival of Tuchel has totally changed Chelsea’s season.
Despite winning five out of six group stage games this season, Chelsea never looked this stable under Lampard as they have done under Tuchel. The change in coaching is evident as the Blues went 14 games unbeaten under Tuchel took over, conceding only two goals in the process.
Their impressive round of 16 win over La Liga toppers Atletico Madrid is a typical example of how well Tuchel has done since taking over the club. They suffered a shock home defeat to West Brom last week. But immediately bounced back with that win away to Porto.
Chelsea also have a FA Cup semi-final to play against Manchester City on Saturday. They could end the week with two semi-final places secured in two different competitions.
Chilwell says nothing has changed since Lampard’ sacking:
Ben Chilwell asked in the pre-match press conference if there has been a change in mentality since Tuchel replaced Lampard, ahead of the second leg against Porto. The Englishman replied by saying:
“I wouldn’t say a shift in mentality because under the manager before it was all about winning as well. Nothing has changed there. It is still the same. We hopefully want to win a trophy or two this season. I think maybe older players, more experienced players are playing at the moment. That is down to training and whenver anyone is asked to come into the team, they give 100 percent. And the people that aren’t playing are also very important and pushing everyone forward.”
He was also asked whether he is a better player under Tuchel, to which Chilwell said:
“I am not sure as I am always trying to improve every day. I would say I am a different player, playing left wing-back is something I wasn’t used to before. Since the manager has come in, it is the position that me and Marcos are playing, so I am a different player. I am really trying to improve my game in that sense at left wing-back.”