Thomas Tuchel dismisses fears over his use of Chelsea’s youngsters by declaring the academy as the ‘backbone’ of the club… as he vows to ‘push’ Tammy Abraham, Billy Gilmour and Reece James and Co to success
- Chelsea won 1-0 at Barnsley in the FA Cup fifth-round on Thursday night
- The Blues started Tammy Abraha, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Billy Gilmour
- Academy substitutes Reece James and Tino Anjorin both came on as a substitute
Thomas Tuchel has applauded the attitude of Chelsea’s young stars and declared the academy to be the ‘backbone’ of any club.
Tuchel’s selections in the Premier League have leaned towards experience since he replaced Frank Lampard last month.
But he stressed his faith in the academy graduates after an FA Cup win at Barnsley secured by a goal from Tammy Abraham that was created by Reece James and Billy Gilmour.
Thomas Tuchel (left) insists he has faith in Chelsea’s academy graduates and will ‘push’ them
Reece James (left) set up fellow academy graduate Tammy Abraham in a 1-0 win at Barnsley
‘My belief is it is always the backbone of any club,’ said Tuchel. ‘The more guys that can arrive in the first team the better it is for the club because it is something the supporters love. These boys care absolutely about Chelsea because they live it over years and years. They live the spirit.
‘On the other hand, to make it at Chelsea is one of the toughest challenges you can have. It is not always straight up. It is sometimes bumpy. Sometimes you go out on loan, but I like that they accept the challenge to make it here.
‘I feel from the boys here that they absolutely want to make it as Chelsea players, not only as Premier League players. They want to be Chelsea players. This is the spirit we want to feel. When we feel the spirit, combined with that talent, we will push them.’
Billy Gilmour (right) started in central midfield and Tuchel was pleased with his young stars
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