Tuchel retaining belief in PSG amid criticism

Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel is refusing to lose confidence in his team despite losing the Champions League round of 16 first leg to Dortmund.

Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel was confident of overturning the Champions League tie against Borussia Dortmund.   -  Getty Images

Thomas Tuchel said Paris Saint-Germain needed to remain confident and retain belief in its Champions League chances after an impressive win over Dijon.

PSG has faced criticism in the wake of its 2-1 loss to Borussia Dortmund in the last-16 first leg, but crushed Dijon 4-0 on Saturday.

Tuchel said there was no reason to begin doubting his PSG side, which holds a 13-point lead atop Ligue 1.

"The players want to prove that they are able to take a step forward, that too many criticisms have been said," the PSG coach told a news conference.

"They are having a consistent season, with many wins, with good performances, professional performances, strong performances. They deserved their victories. There were only few draws and one defeat.

"We can't lose confidence in this team, we can't lose confidence in this group. There are two games [first leg and second leg]. The players want to play the second leg. They want to prove what they can do.

"They started to show their abilities in training sessions this week, they showed it in this game, they will continue next Wednesday [in a Coupe de France semi-final against Lyon]."

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Kylian Mbappe scored a brace against Dijon to go with goals from Pablo Sarabia and Mauro Icardi, while Angel Di Maria was substituted after just 17 minutes.

Tuchel played down any concerns over Di Maria and said he was "confident" the attacker would face Lyon.

The injury comes less than two weeks out from the second leg against Dortmund in Paris, although fears over the coronavirus continue to impact sporting events.

PSG defender Marquinhos has no interest in playing the second leg behind closed doors, saying it would be better to postpone the clash.

"Playing without fans would be a shame. I think it would be better to cancel the game. They had their fans at home. We want our fans at home," he said.

"I hope it won't happen. If a decision is made to play behind closed doors, we will ask to cancel the game, to play later in front of our fans."

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