Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has outlined a key tactical flaw from his side that he wishes to stamp out if his team are to progress.
The German manager was speaking in Friday’s press conference, following Thursday’s FA Cup win over Barnsley.
The Blues advanced to the quarter-finals with a 1-0 victory, but faced a stern test from their Championship opponents.
Indeed, the second-tier outfit controlled periods of the game and made Tammy Abraham work for his first-half winner.
Chelsea made 10 changes from the team which beat Sheffield United last weekend. However, Tuchel insisted that this should not be an excuse for his side’s “struggles”.
Asked about whether he needed to be “harsh” with his players, the manager told reporters (via football.london): “No, not need to be too harsh, not need to be too strict but need to be clear.
“There are things that we can do much better than we did at Barnsley yesterday.
“We hardly managed to get into the opponent’s box. It was very hard to escape the first press to put the game into the opponent’s half. So we struggled for 45 minutes, the first-half.”
Tuchel added that his players got an “awkward feeling”, which he is also keen to stamp out.
As such, he spoke of how he told his players the “truth” in the dressing room – that his players can recognise when their performance falls flat.
Tuchel provides Chelsea injury update
Meanwhile, the manager also provided an update on the fitness of some of his Chelsea stars, ahead of Monday’s clash with Newcastle.
Andreas Christensen went off during the clash with Barnsley, but the defender only had a headache.
Thiago Silva still has a thigh problem, but Chelsea are “trying, trying hard” to have him back for next Saturday’s clash with Southampton.
Elsewhere, Timo Werner suffered a dead leg against Sheffield United and Kai Havertz has a minor issue.
Tuchel said: “It should be absolutely okay for Timo Werner to come back. It’s maybe too close for Kai, still, and for sure for Thiago. For Thiago we are aiming for Southampton, we are trying, trying hard. Let’s see if he can make it, we cannot promise.
“And for Kai, let’s see today if he’s out. It will be a very short time for Kai so maybe he’ll be missing this match as well.”
Chelsea beat Newcastle 2-0 at St James’ Park in the earlier meeting between the clubs this season.