THOMAS TUCHEL says Chelsea fans will need to up their game as much as his players if they are to beat Real Madrid tonight.
The reigning kings of the Champions League are still reeling from Saturday’s shocking 4-1 home defeat to Brentford that left Stamford Bridge flat as a pancake.
Chelsea fans can attend the quarter-final first leg after the government eased sanctions to give the club an amended license.
And Tuchel insists he must speak all in full voice for this round of 16.
The Blues boss admitted: “We need to be better on the pitch than we were on Saturday, but we also really need the spectators.
“In a big event against opponents like Real Madrid, everyone has to be up front because that will be crucial in this game.
“It is much more difficult to play against the spectators as well. We felt it against Juventus and in Malmo and we will experience it again next week in Madrid.
“In the Champions League the crowd gives us a huge boost of energy and support and we need everyone who arrives on the ground to get behind us.”
Tuchel hasn’t forgotten how easily his team defeated Real in last season’s Champions League semifinals with a 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu before winning 2-0 in the second leg.
But he insists it will mean nothing against tonight’s runaway Spain leaders, who have won the European Cup more times than any other club – 13.
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He said: “Last season has nothing to do with this game. We didn’t even consider it in our preparations.
“We beat Real a year ago but now it’s a new team with a new manager and we have to do our best if we want to repeat that result.
“This is an incredibly tough competition and Real have won it more than anyone else. So from experience we should be aware of the quality that such a team can produce on special occasions.
“It’s something very special for us to play against Real in the quarter-finals. So we’re excited, but we can’t lose too much sleep thinking about where they are in Europe.”
Real arrived in London last night without coach Carlo Ancelotti, who had tested positive for Covid last week and not been given the all-clear to fly.
However, Tuchel expects the former Chelsea boss to be able to return to the bridge emotionally.
He said: “I hope Carlo still makes it. I was told he could be here tomorrow night. He’s a big personality and it would be nice to have him on the sidelines.”
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