Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi has admitted that he thought manager Thomas Tuchel was joking when he first asked him to play as a wing-back last season.
Tuchel has tended to use three central defenders since taking over from Frank Lampard and with fierce competition for places so fierce up front, Hudson-Odoi has at times been asked to operate in the more defensive position.
The 21-year-old played in that role in the German's very first game as Blues boss – a 0-0 draw against Wolves in January – and he earned praise for his performance at the time.
However, in a recent interview with talkSPORT, Hudson-Odoi confessed that he was uncertain about the positional shift at first.
“When the manager first came in and he told me to play wing-back, I was just a bit in shock. I thought it was a joke.“ the 21-year-old explained.
“Obviously, when I played there, it was different. It suited my game a little at that time and I think that he’s come in and he’s given the freedom and the instruction to the team of how he wants everyone to play and what he wants from the team to try to win games.“
Despite his initial reservations, Hudson-Odoi revealed that he has relished working under Tuchel since he arrived at Stamford Bridge.
“He knows what he wants to win and so do we. So we are playing as hard as we can and to the best level we can to obviously win every game,“ he added.
“When he has come in, he has given us that extra motivation, extra courage and push to know that regardless, he is going to push us to our hardest level because he wants the best out of us.
“It’s definitely a good thing to know that he is coming in with the motivation and determination to try to win games and win trophies.
“We are going to keep pushing until we reach our main goal.”
After winning the Champions League last term, Chelsea are again enjoying a promising campaign this time out. They are currently top of the Premier League and are in good positions to progress in Europe and the Carabao Cup.
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Source : 90min