Thomas Tuchel has declared Chelsea’s readiness to conquer Europe – telling his players: Our time is now.
Tuchel is targeting two trophies in his first four months in charge at Stamford Bridge, with his side set to face Manchester City in the semi-final of the FA Cup on Saturday.
They can also book their place in the last four of the Champions League on Tuesday when they take a 2-0 lead into the second leg of their quarter-final with Porto.
Tuchel was parachuted in to rescue Chelsea’s season after it began to unravel under Frank Lampard in January and was told he had to deliver immediately.
The German accepted that challenge and believes his team could be on course for a glorious end to the campaign.
He said: “We are in the second leg of the quarter-final of the Champions League, you will not find any team who does not have the goal to reach the semi-final.
“We are in the semi-final of the FA Cup and have the chance to arrive in the final, if we arrive in the final then we have the chance to win.
“There is nothing to hide. This is a club that has a culture, a structure, to win titles and win games consecutively. Chelsea is the club that has the culture and the history and mentality to do so.
“I am here to win titles, I am here to win games and as a result, win titles. This is what I demand of myself so why should we now say anything different? If you want to win in five years or three years, I don’t know what that is.
“Now is the time, but, honestly, we can talk for hours and hours, but tomorrow is the game to play and there is no tougher match than the next game, there is no tougher obstacle than the one in front of you and we should not get lost in dreams, hopes and speeches or whatever.”
Chelsea are still battling on three fronts, with Tuchel also targeting a top four finish to be certain of Champions League qualification.
But the Premier League will be put to one side as they focus on Europe and the FA Cup.
“If you want to finish the season with a trophy we’d better win both matches, otherwise could be difficult,” said the German. “Because the Premier League title will not be our job to lose.
“It’s most important for me to be fully focused on what we do, and forget that we have already a result (from the first leg), and forget what we did at Crystal Palace because it’s the past.
“There’s nothing less interesting in football than the past. Everything that counts in football is the next match, the next competition. We play in three competitions and hopefully we’ll still be in three competitions.
“Tomorrow there’s no trophy to win, on Saturday there’s no trophy to win, but of course these are matches where we can take decisive steps, we are well aware.
“Everybody can wreck their heads about it, but we are there to play football, and this is the target, and this is the challenge actually – to keep focus.”