Tuchel tells Werner to treat Chelsea training ‘like being rejected by a woman’

Thomas Tuchel has urged misfiring Chelsea striker Timo Werner to treat his poor goalscoring form like he’s been rejected by a woman, joking: “Step a little bit back and maybe she will call you”.

Werner has endured a disappointing debut season at Stamford Bridge since joining from RB Leipzig last summer, scoring just five Premier League goals in 28 appearances so far.

And the 25-year-old’s miserable campaign went from bad to worse when he squandered a glorious chance to edge Germany ahead in their eventual 2-1 defeat against North Macedonia on Wednesday night.

He has now returned to Chelsea training ahead of their clash with West Brom on Saturday afternoon, but Tuchel says he has stopped the forward from carrying out extra sessions at Cobham.

Instead of overworking on his finishing to pull himself out of his current slump, the Blues head coach has told Werner to play it cool like when “a woman doesn’t want to go out with you to dinner”.

“Yesterday I sent [Werner] in from training because he wanted to do some finishing with us,” Tuchel said at his pre-match press conference.

“I just sent him in. I said, ‘You don’t need that! Your body and your brain knows how to score. You did it since you were six years old. So don’t worry, it will come!’

“If a woman doesn’t want to go out with you to dinner, you cannot force her too. You just step a little bit back and maybe she will call you up. So the goals will come.”

Tuchel also leapt to Werner’s defence over Wednesday’s horror miss against North Macedonia, insisting Ilkay Gundogan’s misplaced pass contributed to the gaffe.

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  • “First of all, it was a bad pass from Ilkay Gundogan – that's how I see it!” he said.

    “He missed a chance and now everybody is passionate to talk about it, which is a bit annoying. The truth is he did not start three times for Germany, so maybe if he has more minutes, maybe they would have scored more.

    “It's an easy solution to point the finger at Timo, which I cannot fully understand and I will not accept. I am happy that he's back here, because here he's protected. We demand a lot from him; we get a lot from him.

    “Yes, he is in a moment where he lacks confidence. The ball simply does not work out like it usually works out. But he works hard for us.

    “He scores for us, he's doing assists, he's winning penalties. So if this is the most critical point in your career, you can accept it and say, 'it's pretty impressive so far’.”

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