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Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta has praised manager Thomas Tuchel over his handling of the Romelu Lukaku situation.

Tuchel revealed he sought the advice of senior players before taking punishment against Lukaku after the £97m striker gave an interview saying he was not happy at Chelsea and wanted to return to Inter Milan in the future.

Azpilicueta said: “We would prefer not to have this kind of situation but once it happened, we had to deal with it. The manager of the club makes the decisions, he [Lukaku] apologised to the fans and to the manager and the club, the board and everybody.

“Now he is looking to have success with the team. I think he made it clear that for him, it was his dream since he was a boy to play for Chelsea and now the most important thing is to work on the pitch the way he has today to help the team.

“The goals will come and hopefully everybody gets stronger and can move forward from here because I think we all have a very exciting four or five months ahead of us.

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“The manager has the experience of dealing with different types of player and in this situation, from the very first second, he has dealt with things calmly and without making too many emotional decisions.

“He made his decisions alongside the club and it is very clear everything is sorted. Now we have to put it behind us and only focus on what happens on the pitch.”

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Azpilicueta added: “I have had a number of managers and some have been very different. All they have in common is that will to win. But Thomas is someone who is very calm, but he is also very demanding. He is not happy when things are not going well.

“He always wants more – more success. That is what he has proved with the success he has had and hopefully we can have more in the future.

“Sometimes the results bring confidence and it helps the energy. It is normal that during the season you have rough times and you have to get over them. We, of course, had results that we did not want to have but we have had to keep working hard. But we have won nothing yet and there is still a long way to go.”





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