Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel has rejected suggestions that the club are in crisis but concedes that they are experiencing a “difficult phase”.
The runaway Ligue 1 leaders have now missed two opportunities to wrap up the title after a 2-2 draw at home to Strasbourg on April 7 was followed by a crushing 5-1 defeat to second-place Lille on Sunday.
PSG have another chance to wrap up a second consecutive league title when they travel to Nantes on Wednesday and Tuchel is keen to play down his side’s blip in form.
“We have to accept this kind of period in a season,” he told a media conference. “In the middle there are a lot of positives but there are also complicated, hard weeks.
“It’s not a crisis but a difficult phase. I will take the same crisis next season if it comes with a 17-point lead! We have to stay calm and together.
“It is our goal to be champions very quickly. We had the opportunity to become champions against Strasbourg and Lille, but we couldn’t seize it. There are always obstacles to overcome.”
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) April 16, 2019
PSG will be without the injured Thomas Meunier, Edinson Cavani, Neymar, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva and Angel Di Maria for the visit to 15th-place Nantes, while Juan Bernat and Marco Verratti are suspended.
Tuchel denied that he has any issues with the way players’ injuries are being handled by the club’s medical staff but did say the workload was becoming difficult for those who can play.
After listing the players that will be missing, Tuchel said: “That is not our squad for the quarter-finals for the Champions League, they are our wounded.
“I am not angry. We work hard together. The doctors, physiotherapists and staff are all together. We have to think about each injury individually. I have confidence in them.
“There are not enough players, that’s the reality. If a lot of people are missing the ones remaining have more responsibilities. It’s demanding. They’re physically and mentally tired. They do not stop.”
Brazil superstar Neymar is working his way back from a foot injury sustained in PSG’s Coupe de France clash against Strasbourg on January 23, but no timescale has been put on when the world’s most expensive footballer will return to full fitness.
Tuchel has confirmed that he is not suffering any lasting pain from the injury and is aiming to return soon.
“Neymar has no pain,” he added. “He is very confident and wants to come back as soon as possible.”
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