Thomas Tuchel: 'I can feel that the squad plays together'

From his side's training camp in Faro before the Champions League quarter final, the Paris Saint-Germain coach delivered his first impressions to PSGTV.

Thomas Tuchel, who is set up in the south of Portugal for a three day training camp before travelling up to Lisbon, where his side will play in the Final 8 of the UEFA Champions League, is now fully focused on one very clear objective: beat Atalanta in the quarter finals of the competition on Wednesday evening. 

One knockout match for a ticket to the semi-finals. Does this previously unseen format change the coach's plans? The coach gives his thoughts to PSGTV.

"During the match, it might be different, like our substitutions, because we know there won’t be a second leg. We won’t have the opportunity to correct things; we won’t be able to be happy with some results, like an away draw, and then be confident to win at home in front of our crowd. It’s different now, but we’re ready because we’ve played two finals in France to prepare. It was good preparation because we played one match with extra time and a penalty shoot-out. But to begin with, it doesn’t change anything. We’ll get ready for that match like any other. For me, it’s a gift. We’re playing in a quarter-final; we’re in the last eight. We’re a very strong team together, we’ve won four titles already this season, and I’m very happy to be the Paris Saint-Germain manager. It’s a gift for me." explained Thomas Tuchel.

Often lauded for the team's attacking strength, Paris Saint-Germain also boast the best defensive record in the Champions League this season. What's the secret to this success?
"Good question! If I know the answer to that question, I’m not going to reveal it, that’s for sure! But the key might be Keylor Navas with his experience and his character. He is extremely calm; he has a lot of experience in this competition.

"The other key thing for me is that I can feel that the squad plays together. They’re together not only when they’re attacking, not only to do spectacular things, but the lads also come together to suffer together, to work together, and to stay together when they don’t have the ball. And that’s the key, because there’s a lot of quality in our squad; we have a lot of spectacular forward-minded players but we always have to find a good mix between both. We are really happy to have been able to perform defensively this season and we want to continue in that way.

"Defending well will be very important. Atalanta have a totally unique style. They like attacking with every player who is able to go forward. They always have forwards chasing the ball.