New Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel showed the kind of ruthlessness he expects from his players when he hauled off Callum Hudson-Odoi 20 minutes after bringing on the winger as a substitute in their 1-1 draw at Southampton on Saturday.
Hudson-Odoi, who had replaced Tammy Abraham at the break, looked deurmekaar as he left the field to be replaced by Hakim Ziyech in the 76th minute of the Premier League match.
After Takumi Minamino ran on to a defence-splitting Nathan Redmond pass in the 33rd minute to coolly finish and put the hosts 1-0 up at the break, Tuchel’s men needed an extra gear in the final third and hence the reason why he brought on Hudson-Odoi.
But it was Mason Mount who won a penalty and equalised from the spot in the 54th minute to earn the Blues a point in the match.
Of his decision to take off Hudson-Odoi, the no-nonsense Tuchel explains: “We brought in Hudson, but with Hudson I was not happy with the energy and with the attitude and counter-pressing“So, we decided to take him off again, because we demand a lot and we demand 100 percent.
“It’s a hard decision I know for the players to come on and off. But tomorrow, latest tomorrow, it’s forgotten and he has all possibilities to start again against Atletico [Madrid in the Champions League last-16 tomorrow night].
Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard as manager at Stamford Bridge last month and since then Chelsea have gone six matches unbeaten in the league, winning four and conceding only twice.
But despite not having tasted defeat in the league yet, he wants improvement on attack and says: “After a match like this if you need a penalty to score once, it tells the story.
“I want to watch this game once or twice to understand where we can help and where we can improve because it will not be easier to score against Atletico.”