Rudiger opens up on life under Tuchel

Antonio Rudiger has found himself back in the thick of action, as the German international has started all of Chelsea’s matches since Tuchel’s arrival. Rudiger was largely left out by Lampard during this managerial tenure at Chelsea, preferring Zouma and Thiago Silva as the first choice centre-backs.

On lack of playing time

Speaking to Sky sports ahead of Chelsea’s league match against Newcastle on Monday, Rudiger admitted he was frustrated with lack of playing time this season. The Chelsea defender added “I’m a competitor, I want to play. Obviously it is frustrating and it was the first time in my career that I had this type of situation.”

I just said to myself ‘work, try hard to get back into the first team’. Now I can say I’m receiving the good from the hard work that I did before.”

You have to always make yourself available and always be ready in your mindset. Maybe in the future – I hope not, but this is football – someone gets injured and maybe they are going to say your name and you have to be up there and ready.”

This is how I prepare for every game. Although maybe you know you’re not playing because you can see it through the training, but in my head, I always prepared like I was going to play so that I’m always ready in my mind.”

Inside myself, I was always calm and relaxed, I’ll be very honest. I was not going crazy because I was not playing at the beginning and when you’re not in the squad, you think ‘oh wow, what’s happening?

The German international admitted that he decided to fight for his place once Lampard decided to give him the opportunity. “But then suddenly I was back in the team and got some games. From that moment on, my head was ‘I’m staying here at Chelsea and trying to fight for my spot’. In the last games of Frank Lampard, I was featuring even more.”

On asked whether a new contract is on the cards, the defender said “The thing is I cannot give myself a new contract. The talks have to come from the board, from Marina, I’m very calm when it comes to that.”

Life under Tuchel

Thomas Tuchel has revived Chelsea’s season by picking up 10 points from his first four games, as Chelsea try to push for the top four spot. Rudiger admitted it has been a good turnaround under Tuchel as the Blues have started picking up points again. The Chelsea defender added “Because of the results, it’s been good.

I think the coach knows what he wants. He has a way of playing football and you can see from the games, the players have adapted very quickly to that.

From every coach, you want him to improve you. I don’t want to hear what I’m doing good, I want to hear what I’m not doing good and what I can improve. This is what I want to see from him.

In general, the whole season, when it comes to defending, compared to other seasons, we did very well. That also started with Lampard and now the coach has a different idea, which is to keep the opponents up in their own half and try to win the ball back there rather than winning it further down in our half.”

Although its unlikely for Chelsea to win Champions League or Premier League this season, there is definitely an opportunity for them to win the FA Cup. Rudgier admitted the club will always target silverware, and said “Silverware is in the DNA of the club. They always want us to win trophies so we are still in the FA Cup, still in the Champions League and you never know what can happen in the league.”

But I don’t want to start dreaming of something because you have to be realistic. We are in a good way and the next objective in the league is to secure top four. If we do a miracle, we do a miracle but let’s stick reality.”

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