Thomas Tuchel detailed how he gave Chelsea players time to switch off by staying an extra night at the team hotel in Seville ahead of their FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City.
Chelsea’s players replicated a restaurant experience following their Champions League aggregate win over Porto, taking advantage of the team’s bubble environment.
It allowed players a safe space to relax in an environment that hasn’t been possible due to Covid-19 restrictions.
“We are aware that it is necessary to recover mentally,” Blues manager Tuchel told reporters. “For example, we decided to stay overnight in Sevilla because we knew the hotel. It was very nice, in a nice setting.
“We had the chance to sit outside because the weather was very warm. It was a calming circumstance to enjoy each other’s company. We had a good sleep and we had a chance to stay together after the match because we created a bubble there.
“It was a good chance because the players have not been able to go out, go to restaurants. For almost a year now, we cannot share a dressing room. So we created this just to feel some time together, have talks outside of tactics and lineups to just bond, let the players bond, enjoy an evening after a game.
“They could have a glass of wine or sip of beer if they want. It was important to have this environment and organise it like this. It was part of the mental recovery. We are aware that we have many meetings after games and training sessions.
“We want to have sessions where there isn’t too much explanation or talking, just to find exercises on the pitch that bring a lot of fun and joy and sweat out the tension. Things like this are very important to help the seriousness of how we prepare and play in games.
“They must enjoy it and have a good atmosphere at Cobham.”