‘We are going to kill the players’: PSG boss Thomas Tuchel hits out at intense fixture schedule which sees his team play five Ligue 1 and Champions League games in 16 days after he loses star man Neymar to injury
- PSG boss Thomas Tuchel believes intense schedule is affecting the players
- He points out his squad have barely no time to recover properly from matches
- PSG travel to Nantes in Ligue 1 on Saturday – their fifth game in space o 16 days
- Neymar suffered adductor injury during midweek win over Istanbul Basaksehir
Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel has criticised intense fixture scheduling, saying the pile-up of games this season would ‘kill the players.’
Their new league season started on September 10 and this Saturday’s visit to Nantes – coming hot off the heels of a Champions League trip to Istanbul Basaksehir on Wednesday – will be their fifth game in 16 days.
Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel believes intense fixture schedules will ‘kill the players’ this season as they are unable to properly recover from matches
PSG boss Thomas Tuchel fears Neymar’s groin injury could keep him out for a few games
The PSG star received medical attention and strapping on his left thigh but could not continue
Tuchel’s side must still play RB Leipzig in the Champions League and Rennes in Ligue 1 before the November international break then face a slog of 10 more games before Christmas.
And Tuchel, having seen star player Neymar suffer an adductor injury in midweek, has hit out at the hectic schedule.
‘We’re going to kill the players,’ the German coach said ahead of the Nantes match. ‘That’s what I’ve always said. We are going to kill them because there is an important link between preparation, performance and rest.
‘In football it always falls on the greatest players because they will always play for their country.
PSG defeated Istanbul Basaksehir 2-0 on Wednesday to continue their run of victories
Tuchel is concerned that stars such as Kylian Mbappe will suffer from burnout this season
‘They play during the break, they travel and that’s too much in my opinion. They don’t have a recovery phase to allow them to come back and a preparation phase.
‘That is not a secret, it happens in sport. Preparation influences injuries and performance.
Ligue 1 unless stated
Saturday Nantes (A)
Wednesday RB Leipzig (A)
Champions League group stage
November 7 Rennes (H)
November 20 Monaco (A)
November 23 RB Leipzig (H)
Champions League group stage
November 28 Bordeaux (H)
‘Without preparation, players are more fragile and difficult to manage. This is not an excuse, this is the truth. We are going to look for solutions and I hope we will find some.’
The fixture pile-up hasn’t seemed to affect PSG’s domestic form and the reigning French champions are already top of the table on goal difference from Lille after eight matches.
They beat Istanbul Basaksehir 2-0 in Turkey on Wednesday to kick-start their Champions League campaign after losing to Manchester United on matchday one.
Tuchel said the demands of travelling back from Turkey meant he could do very little work on the training pitch ahead of the Nantes match.
‘We came back [on Thursday] and [Friday] is our second day after playing. It’s the riskiest day in terms of injuries, which means we’re doing almost nothing,’ he added.
‘We are working on recovery and training a little with those who haven’t played at Basaksehir and we are flying out to play another match, this time in Ligue 1.
‘We lose a player for every game at the moment and we are not the only ones concerned. Liverpool, Manchester City and Bayern Munich, it’s the same thing.’