Thomas Tuchel hopes Chelsea fans won’t hold him to account for the sacking of Frank Lampard after coming clean on the moment of class from his predecessor.
The German took charge of his first Chelsea match on Wednesday night – a 0-0 draw with Wolves – just over 24 hours after taking charge.
The Blues showed no mercy in parting ways with club legend Lampard on Monday, with Tuchel named his successor a day later.
The former PSG coach used his first press conference to promise chances to the club’s best young stars. His first game in charge saw Reece James, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham all miss out.
Lampard, meanwhile, has expressed his frustration he wasn’t given the chance to turn Chelsea’s form around.
That said, the club’s record goalscorer did pass on a warm message to Tuchel showing he bears the German no ill feeling.
Revealing the message, Tuchel says Lampard has gone up even more in his estimations.
“It (my view of Lampard) just got bigger when I received a message today in the morning. It was a personal message to wish me all the best and maybe meet in the future when this is possible.
“Honestly, nothing has changed there but in the last 72 hours the club made clear to me this is not my fault. I cannot change the situation for him. The decision was made and I was handed the opportunity. I mean what I say.”
Tuchel’s appointment failed to have an immediate impact on Wednesday night. However, the German hopes Chelsea’s fans won’t blame him for stepping into Lampard’s shoes.
In a message directed at those fans disgruntled by Lampard’s exit, Tuchel added: “I don’t know, I hope not because that would be hard on the team.
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“The fans are so close and behind the team, it makes a big difference. I know it was a big disappointment for the fanbase that Frank was sacked. And, as I said before, I have the biggest respect. I was a huge fan of Frank as a player.
“The club made clear to me this is not my fault, I cannot change the situation for him. The decision was made and I was handed the opportunity.”
Tuchel names Kante’s best role
One player Tuchel will be trying to get the best out of is N’Golo Kante. The manager has already revealed he tried to sign the Frenchman when he was in charge of PSG.
Kante’s role has changed between different managers in recent years, but Tuchel has a clear plan of how he will use him.
“I think he is strongest as a double six,” he said. “We can use his energy and use his range and the volume in his game. He has the ability to recuperate and recover balls everywhere on the pitch.
“He is a guy who is a big, big helper for everybody with the potential of a helper, a water carrier but a world class player.”
READ MORE: Tuchel’s first Chelsea press conference capped off by quiz on eye-catching Spurs quip