Conor Gallagher was subdued when he spoke about missing Crystal Palace’s semi-final against Chelsea due to the terms of his loan agreement.
The Eagles asked the Blues for special dispensation but were denied, as exclusively revealed by GOAL last week.
Thomas Tuchel was prompted to apologise to his 22-year-old midfield loan star at a chance restaurant meeting, but admitted that he would rather face the South Londoners without a player that has become one of their stars.
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What did Gallagher say?
“Obviously I wanted to be part of it. It is an amazing occasion for the club to be at Wembley in the semi-final,” Gallagher told reporters at Wembley Stadium.
“I was happy to be here and support the lads. Playing in games like this is what everyone wants to do, a semi-final of the FA Cup at Wembley is one of those games. Unfortunately I couldn’t do it today, but hopefully it comes [around] again.
“I just want to play games, especially a game like this, but it is what it is. The boys did well today but it just wasn’t made to be.”
Will Gallagher return to Chelsea next season?
Tuchel is known to be a huge fan of the midfielder, who trained under him during pre-season this year.
He will likely return in the summer with the Blues warding off transfer interest from various clubs.
Speaking at Wembley in his Palace kit, the loan star was careful not to talk up a return to Stamford Bridge.
“There’s a few games left and that’s the most important thing right now,” he added.
“I am not thinking about Chelsea yet, I am just thinking about Palace and the end of the season.”
It was a strong display from Palace despite the defeat.
Fellow Cobham academy graduate Mason Mount was full of compliments when speaking about Palace exclusively to GOAL.
“I spoke to Marc Guehi after the game and I told him that they are a very, very good team,” he said after the match.
“They have good players and they made it very difficult for us. They’ve got a good manager. We found it difficult.
“We didn’t have many chances until we scored and they had to open up which left more gaps. We got the second and killed the game off.
“It was very difficult and I was very impressed with the way they set up and played.”