Thomas Tuchel has admitted Chelsea’s whole season will be judged on the next two games.
Chelsea face a decisive clash with Leicester at Stamford Bridge in the battle for top four and a chance to exact revenge after their FA Cup final defeat to Brendan Rodgers’ men on Saturday.
Blues boss Tuchel then goes to Aston Villa on the final day of the season and he is the first to admit that finishing fifth and missing out on a Champions League will not be enough to satisfy his ambitions.
That is quite a statement considering Chelsea also have a European Cup final with Manchester City on May 29 in their sights but clearly finishing in the top four is how Tuchel regards how well he has done this season.
Tuchel said: “The ambition is very clear and I can’t say now we are happy if we play two draws now and up fifth. Because I am not, I am not happy. Then I will constantly have the feeling that we could have done better results-wise.
“But if we get two red cards tomorrow and end up in a draw with nine players then maybe I have to accept that this was the best outcome. That’s why I am a bit afraid to talk about it beforehand in black and white.
“I am not afraid to talk about my ambition. These are the two decisive weeks of the whole season. That is very clear. But sometimes you have to accept that you don’t have full control over the result. I know very much what could be the best case.
“Then I will have the feeling that we pushed certain things together to the limit and reached our limit in a very short period of time. If not then we obviously found some boundaries which is hard to accept but we would have to accept them and bounce back and try to do it better.”
Tuchel will also see 8,000 Chelsea fans in Stamford Bridge for the first time and he hopes their presence together with better luck will help them overcome Leicester at the second attempt.
“We hope it is the extra percentage of support that helps us to win,” said Tuchel. “It feels amazing that it is possible. It is a step in the absolute right direction and we hope everything is okay with that.
“We lacked a bit of luck and decisions on Saturday. Hopefully, we can bring it back. You cannot force it. I am not a fan of trying too hard. We try all the time and we should rely on ourselves that we cannot try harder than we already try.
“When the pressure is on, it is about staying relaxed, calm and focused on yourself, while doing what you are best at, which is playing as a hungry and aggressive team. This is what we want to do tomorrow.”
Tuchel admits that Liverpool have made it “more interesting” and blamed himself for tempting fate after Alisson scored the dramatic 95th minute winner at West Brom.
“I came home in the afternoon and I switched on the TV and saw 1-1,” said Tuchel. “I thought ‘oh, that wouldn’t be a bad result’. I was a bit superstitious and I did not follow it. I checked on my phone in the 95th minute and it was still 1-1.
“I checked one minute later and I realised that superstitions don’t always work, or maybe I made the wrong decision if the superstitions do work!”