The final countdown to the final is on. A little over 24 hours remain. Just enough time for one more training session. A few more tactical instructions. Many motivational messages.
This is the part that coaches have to get right. The rest will be largely up to their players — for most, on the biggest night of their careers.
No pressure then.
“We are not over-excited to be here, we want to be over-excited for the match, to win the trophy. Maybe we are slight underdogs but that changes nothing.
“[But] don’t get me wrong, this is not a normal week. The countdown is on, maybe the biggest match in Europe. It is a very demanding week, we need to get it right as coaches. Today was a relaxed day, we could enjoy some quality time in the hotel to relax and breathe a bit. Connect with our core, love to the game, the passion we all share. The tension is building very naturally.”
Having stopped to smell the roses, it is now time to fully focus on the task at hand.
It’s just another game. And it’s a game unlike any other.
The opposition may be familiar, but the circumstances are unique. And that can make all the difference when the margins are as small as we’ve seen the last two time we played Manchester City.
“We are very well aware that Man City is the benchmark with this manager over the last years but in football we are always able to close the gap, we have done that twice. We were courageous, brave, suffered together and were strong as a team. We showed up in every single minute.”
Adding to Tuchel’s confidence is the return to full fitness of both N’Golo Kanté and Edouard Mendy. They are certain to start tomorrow, and leave everything out on the pitch.
We’ll need the other nine starters and however many substitutes used to do the same.
“Best news ever, no injuries. I hope it stays this way until after training today.”
“I have full trust in everybody. How bad do you want it? I felt us very concentrated, focused in the build up with this week. There is confidence which is nice to have and a nice feeling to arrive with in a final.
“I don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow, I can only prepare [the team for] several possibilities. In the end, I want to encourage them to be brave, take actions, stay active, defend and attack with aggression and that we try to be the very best and we have no regrets after the game.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London
Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t lose.