The Blues head coach was back facing the media after the international break and ahead of Saturday’s lunchtime kick off against Leicester and here is everything the chelsea boss has to say on on Leicester, Werner, Lukaku, Gallagher and Rudiger’s Chelsea future.

Injury news ahead of the game tomorrow, Thomas?

“I can tell you that Mateo and Romelu are still out for tomorrow. Romelu is close to team training so hopefully will join the squad on Sunday, he is pushing hard to come back ASAP.

Mateo it will take another days until he is ready and will miss more matches. Timo in team training since yesterday, we will see as we have anothyer training in two hours. Maybe he can make the squad or the bench. Pulisic feels fine.

Thiago will be training, he did not play [for Brazil] but he has some travel in his body and time difference. I am confident. Mason is back in training.”

What are the chances of Lukaku being back for the Juventus game?

“It’s pure speculation and will not help. All I can say is that at the moment we will try hard that he can join team training on Sunday.

If everything works out perfectly and he is in team training on Sunday, then on Monday okay he can maybe join the group on the bench. But there are a lot of ‘ifs’, and I don’t want to put pressure on him.

He’s putting a lot of pressure on himself. We will not rush things, we will take things seriously as always, we will have lots of talks with the doctors and the physios before we make any decisions.

If there is something to be decided it’s good, and if so, it will be decided on Monday.”

Timing of match tomorrow after the break, how difficult is it and especially after disappointments for some players?

“Well if there is a guy who has enough personality to handle disappointment it’s Jorgi, I fully trust his personality and his character. For me the most important thing is that when he arrives here he feels safe, when he arrives in Cobham that he knows everybody will support him no matter what happens outside this building.

He’s our player, he’s fully protected and fully appreciated. So we’re super happy he’s back. These things happen during a career and he’s not the first one to miss an important penalty, and he won’t be the last one.

He has had enough difficulties in his career, if you know his story, how he made it to professional football and the obstacles he has overcome. This is a bump in the road and not more. He feels safe here in Cobham, he feels good and he can continue to play on the highest level that he has done since day one.

In general preparing for a 12.30pm kick-off is demanding, we are not used to it. So this is new, we changed our rhythm in preparing the matches a little bit last time and that worked out for us well.

We altered the times of the meetings, when we give the line-ups, to do as less as possible on the match days, early to eat, to prepare and to have a calm preparation.

We are used to it after international breaks. I don’t think you will find a lot of coaches who like it, to have a full squad on Friday to play on Saturday at 1230. But it’s the challenge, and there are no excuses and we will not start opening the discussion about excuses.

We will arrive well prepared in Leicester tonight and then it’s on us to show how strong we are tomorrow.”

You must be thrilled with Conor Gallagher and how he is getting on at Crystal Palace? Does he definitely have a future at Chelsea as well?

“It’s too early to talk about it and way too early to talk about it in public and before we talk about it with Conor himself about what he wants, what his goals are.

This will happen in the summer, because we all agreed to the decision that he wanted to join Crystal Palace and Patrick Vieira’s team. So we saw this possibility for him and we had talks before.

I’m not surprised that the national coach loves him, because I loved him from day-one.

There cannot be a coach who does not love guys like this, humble nice, always with a smile on their face, always ready to give everything, who wants to learn and improve.

Also as a team-mate I would have loved to play with him, because he’s a helper. He starts in minute one and he finishes maybe in the shower, that’s the earliest minute where he finishes running and seeing balls. So it’s a pleasure to know the guy, to have the guy and I’m super happy it’s worked out so well.

Now it’s on him to keep his feet on the ground, to keep going, and the rest we will decide, not in a rush.”

Could he come back early from his loan?

“Actually I have not thought about to bring him back earlier, because it’s also important for him to be happy where he is, to stay in the moment and not change the next things.

It’s important to be calm in his stage of the career.

And I feel him happy there and I think everybody is happy and it’s good he has this kind of impact at Palace and now it’s about consistency.

He had a game with the national team and we have to process all these things.

Right now if you asked me today I don’t think it’s necessary to change everything for him again in the winter and I’m super happy that he does so well, and super happy for him personally because he’s a guy who deserved the very best.”

What type of game are you expecting from Leicester?

“They had a key player in [Wesley] Fofana get injured heavily and this can create a bit of trouble in starting seasons but they are a team full of individual quality, talent, they are a top team, a top club with a top coach and so I expect a tough one.

But I also expect our team to play with hunger, passion and with a will to win. This is a mindset we want to install again to restart winning and our engine after the break.

It is my first time there [the King Power] we played them twice, once at Wembley and the other time at Stamford Bridge and everybody tells me it a tough place to play but we are up for it.”

Antonio Rudiger can talk to European clubs in January, how important is it that his future is sorted sooner rather than later?

“Yes and we know that. Of course it is pretty clear what we want but it is not like this in football that the coach wants something, or the club wants something and then it happens. We have to accept that sometimes there can be delays and things may take their time but I am very sure that Toni also feels how respected and what an important role he plays at the club.

I think he is up for the toughest challenge in the Premier League, this is the toughest challenge, to win titles so he is a big part of a big club and I am sure he is aware of it.

I am calm, I feel Toni is calm, I feel the situation is calm here inside and from here we go. I am happy that he plays like how he is and we need him at this kind of level.”

Callum Hudson-Odoi need to change his approach to England under 21s to get into the Three Lions first team?

“Maybe but it is Callum’s choice and I will not interfere or be the guy to decide for him. He needs to feel and decide if there is something to decide. The best way to talk is with performance on the field and the next chance is tomorrow and the minutes he gets, if he gets minutes, he needs to let his quality speak for himself.

The decision he took, we have to respect it and not take it personally. Everybody has their own way to approach things. We are always proud when players play for their country, we always encourage them to play for their country, he decided to stay here I think twice now and he was super professional here to also have a possibility to impress us here.

Maybe he wants to get a grip on a starting position here at the moment and fair enough and I hope nobody takes it personally and you know, it is not to compare situations. It is the way it is.”

You’re in the middle of a title race, can you enjoy it as a manager?

“Yes, because if you are in the middle of it then it proves you are in the right place because we are in a club that wants to be in the middle of title races.

Nobody expected the race to be decided in November and so it is good news if we are here in it but it is November, there is such a long way to go it does not help if we speak too much about it. 

We have to find consistence like Liverpool and Man City haver proved and this is on us to prove we are capable of doing the same thing., But yeah, we want to be in the middle of it.”

What kind of condition did Kai Havertz come back in from international duty?

“Yes, he missed it because of the injury he got against Burnley when he was pushed over the line and into the spectators but he played the second match and he is in a good mindset.

Physically, he is well. If nothing happens later in training, he is ready to go. He will continue [his goal scoring form], no doubts about it because he has a good character and attitude. He took the right step to challenge himself in the Premier League with Chelsea.

This is the right club to bring out the best in him. He simply needs time and grass doesn’t grow faster if you pull it, it still takes time. He is still young, hungry and ambitious. 

We want the best out of him today and tomorrow but at the same time, he is still only 22. There are some years to come from him. If he fights for it, as he fights now to adapt to the Premier League and his positions, there will be goals and assists under his belt. This is sure and I have no doubts.”

Rudiger and Christensen contract situation, how is it being handled off the pitch? Presumably in a mature way?

“Absolutely, this is how I find it. Things are very mature and respectful and clear. There are some delays, of course, with Toni and Andreas at the moment.

From Andreas, in my point of view the coach, player and club wants the same thing.

Hopefully, and obviously, I expect some good news in the next days but every case is different. You can end up in situations like this but the situations are handled from all sides very carefully, professionally and mature. 

During the process, we can produce the performances we need to fulfil our goals and that’s the most important thing.”

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