Michels: Mount felt pain I can’t promise he will play in Club World Cup
By Paul Lagan at Stamford Bridge
Arno Michels stood in for head coach Thomas Tuchel who went down with Covid at Stamford Bridge today as Chelsea crept through to the 5th Round of the FA Cup with a 2-1 victory over League One side Plymouth Argyle.
The first team coach was excited to be running the dugout and heaped praise on his goalkeeper Kepa who saved a late extra-time penalty which preserved Chelsea’s slender 2-1 lead and prevented the FA Cup tie going into the lottery of penalties.
The number two to Tuchel said of his stopper: It’s not just his penalty saving ability I like. He put in a very good performance. He is very reliable. He has the strength to save penalties - he is even very hard to beat in training.
“He deserves our trust.”
The Blues travel to the Middle East later tonight to prepare for the Club World Cup in Doha.
Tuchel won’t be going with them - at least for now.
Michael’s said: “I don’t know when Thomas will be back, he is in self-isolation.
But we stayed the whole game in touch with him.”
Asked what the 120 minutes of football will have on the side as they set off to win the World Club Cup, Michaels said: “Hopefully we won’t be tired. But after the break we had, it was a tough match. We have some injuries, but we will see. Mason Mount felt pain after taking a shot and we took him off. We will examine him but I can’t promise if he will play in Doha.”
Chelsea won with goals from defenders Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso - striker Romelu Lukaku drew a blank.
Michels said of his Belgium hit man: “It’s tough for Lukaku - he is working for the team. He had many touches of the ball. He is very important to us.”
Michels was excited to be in charge of the dugout.
He said: It as a team effort down there. We all felt excited as it’s normally Thomas at our side. It is different when Thomas is there.”