Thomas Tuchel has admitted Chelsea will keep refining their tactical blueprint in a bid to shake off December’s “bump in development”.
The Chelsea boss hailed his side’s graft but lamented the string of recent home draws that have allowed Manchester City to open up an eight-point lead at the Premier League summit.
The Blues will host Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, with Chelsea’s first New Year’s resolution to stop leaking goals that turn wins into disappointing draws.
Chelsea have drawn four of their last five home league encounters, with the west Londoners’ German coach admitting the Blues head into 2022 in high general spirits but also harbouring an angry streak.
“We have the feeling we’ve invested a lot, we squeezed the lemon and squeezed the lemon,” said Tuchel.
“But it’s like squeezing the same lemon over and over again and expecting fresh juice.
“It’s hard to take these results and stay positive because we know we can play better, but also everybody is trying extremely hard.
“It’s tough, we have now three games at home where we conceded late equalisers where we dominated all statistics and are purely unlucky.
“It hurts because obviously with six points more we would have a completely different feeling around New Year.
“But it’s sometimes like this, I’m sure it’s not the first time in my career and the players’ career when things feel a bit more heavy than in other days.”
Danny Welbeck’s added-time equaliser consigned Chelsea to a 1-1 draw with Brighton at home on Wednesday, to prove the latest deflating Stamford Bridge result in the Premier League.
While Tuchel admitted Chelsea will head into Sunday’s Liverpool clash with frustrations still bubbling, he insisted the Blues must also look to 2021 as a whole.
May’s Champions League triumph can still resonate at the turn of the year, with Tuchel adamant his Chelsea squad continues to make progress.
“Still we are in upset mode after Brighton,” said Tuchel.
“But then it’s sometimes good to move the picture wider, look at what we did in 2021, accept that we are still in the right direction, still in development, still have to learn to improve.
“It seems to be a bump in development, that is still in the right direction.
“It’s hard to accept because we are ambitious, but that’s what it is.”