Callum Hudson-Odoi replaced Tammy Abraham at half-time of Chelsea’s 1-1 draw at Southampton, only to then be subbed himself with 14 minutes to go; Thomas Tuchel says forward “needs to be trustworthy and reliable and this is the next step for him”.
Substitute Callum Hudson-Odoi was replaced in Chelsea’s 1-1 draw at Southampton because the forward’s “attitude” was not right, says head coach Thomas Tuchel.
Tuchel brought Hudson-Odoi on at half-time at St Mary’s in place of Tammy Abraham.
However, despite the visitors equalising, the German then took off the 20-year-old forward with 14 minutes to go on the south coast – with Hakim Ziyech taking his place in attack – for tactical and not injury reasons.
“No, it was not injury-related,” Tuchel confirmed after the match. “I was not happy with his attitude, energy and counter-pressing.
“In a game where it was not easy to create chances, you need to rely on counter-pressing to force errors to get the second ball and get the easy chance.
“And for that, you need to be totally on and sharp for counter-pressing and I did not feel this with Callum today.
“He missed some opportunities for counter-pressing and lost some easy balls and I had the feeling he was never really in the game.
“You know I trust him a lot as he plays every game for us, but today I was close to him and… I do not know, maybe it was unfair, but I did not get the normal feeling with him today that he can be decisive.
“So it is a hard decision today, but nothing that will stick between us, or stick for long. Tomorrow it will be forgotten and we prepare for Atletico.”
Asked if withdrawing the England international will dent his confidence, Tuchel replied: “No, absolutely not. Everyone has to understand that I make decisions to win games.
“There is no problem that he makes mistakes, has a bad game, or misses, but we can’t lack energy even 10 per cent or five per cent. It’s not possible. I know what he can give and it’s why I trust him a lot.
“That will not change. He knows exactly what I demand from him and when he doesn’t reach this level, maybe it means a hard decision like today.
“There is no need to think in old-fashioned terms that this is the worst thing that can ever happen, no.
“Tomorrow it’s already over and maybe he starts against Atletico if we need his qualities. But then he needs to be trustworthy and reliable and this is the next step for him.
“He’s a bit in trouble when he comes off the bench, it was like this against Sheffield (United) and today.
“So it’s on him to improve because we need him in some games from the bench, to hang in a different way.
“But now it’s forgotten and he has to step up, learn from it, swallow it, and there’s no problem.”
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