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Thomas Tuchel admits club managers have hands tied over international breaks

Chelsea v Manchester City – Premier League – Stamford Bridge
(Image credit: Adam Davy)

Thomas Tuchel has admitted Premier League managers have little choice but to accept losing top players for pivotal matches due to international commitments.

Thiago Silva will miss Saturday’s trip to Brentford due to his Brazil duties, with the experienced centre-back not even expected back in England until 24 hours before the match.

Antonio Rudiger has returned from Germany action with a back injury and will miss the Bees clash, though Romelu Lukaku is fit to feature after muscle soreness cut short his time with Belgium.

Juventus v Chelsea – UEFA Champions League – Group H – Allianz Stadium

Thiago Silva will miss Chelsea’s Premier League trip to Brentford after a lengthy return from international duty (Fabrizio Carabelli/PA)

Tuchel believes football’s top talents simply play too many matches, but also revealed elite managers feel as though they can have little sway in effecting any changes.

“We knew beforehand when Thiago would come back and when he would travel, so it’s nothing new,” said Tuchel.

“He will be back, this afternoon, hopefully, safe, Thiago from this match in Brazil.

“So we had our talk today about Brentford, we had our tactical training today, and he missed all that.

“He played 90 minutes, he has 12 hours of travelling, so that’s the answer maybe about his availability – he is not.

“I’ve got used to a lot of things in national breaks, this is how it is nowadays.

“Are we happy about it, all the coaches with the amount of games our players play for their countries? No, we are not. Does anybody ask us if we want to change anything? Also, no. So it’s nothing new.

“We speak about it during the UEFA coaches’ meetings, but it’s the calendar.

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“And after that you have to accept it. I’m not even too frustrated about it.

“I don’t like it, I think it’s too many games, too many competitions for the top players in the clubs.

“The game is for the players and the spectators.

“And the spectators want to have the top players on the pitch, they want them healthy, fit and hungry. And you cannot always provide it if you play so many games in so many different competitions.

“I’m actually not too frustrated, maybe it’s just my body language today.

“I know what’s coming, I know the next national break is coming, we have seven games in between and we try to do the best in every national break.

“Actually this national break was a little bit better for us, in terms of minutes and management of the players.

“This one even felt a little bit better at least than the last one. But the next one is on the horizon.”

Christian Pulisic continues to be sidelined with ankle trouble, while Hakim Ziyech could miss the Brentford trip after a number of headaches.

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Reece James and N’Golo Kante are fully fit however, with England full-back James’ availability a boost in a depleted defence.

Chelsea’s full squad will train just twice before taking on high-flying Brentford, who sit seventh after a fine start to their Premier League debut.

Blues boss Tuchel admitted his players must fight for the right mindset to kick-start the west Londoners’ momentum.

“The big challenge is to recreate the feeling, the momentum and the energy after the national break,” said Tuchel.

“And we need to be able to produce results consistently.

“This is the big challenge, and it’s always difficult after all the travelling and all the games for different teams, different countries, different styles of play.

“It’s always the same and it’s always a challenge to restart the engines, to restart the momentum.

“You can call it mentality or whatever, but it’s not so easy.

“Nobody expects an easy game tomorrow, this is clear for us.

“We face a tough opponent in a very difficult moment, because they are in a very good moment, they have a lot of points and they deserve them.”

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