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'Sometimes it's a big challenge' - Tuchel says it can be hard keeping stars like Neymar and Mbappe happy at PSG

19:15 GMT 23/12/2020
Neymar PSG 2020
Thomas Tuchel feels there are "extreme expectations" at Paris Saint-Germain after helping the club to a domestic clean sweep in 2019-20.

Thomas Tuchel has admitted it can be difficult to keep superstars such as Neymar and Kylian Mbappe happy at Paris-Saint Germain.

Tuchel arrived at PSG in May 2018, a year after departing Borussia Dortmund, and has worked with Mbappe and Neymar for the past two and a half years.

The pair have played a key part in the club's recent success but Tuchel admitted it can be difficult to keep players of their ilk happy.

"Sometimes it's very easy, sometimes it's a big challenge," he said. "At a club like PSG there are many influences. That's why it can be very challenging to keep all the guys happy.

"Honestly, in the first six months here it felt like I was more of a sports politician or sports minister than a coach."

Tuchel is "sad and angry" that his achievements as Paris Saint-Germain boss are often played down.

The German coach has won six trophies during his two full seasons at the Parc des Princes, including the Ligue 1 title in back-to-back campaigns.

PSG completed a clean sweep of domestic honours last season and reached their first Champions League final, where they were beaten 1-0 by Bayern Munich in a tight contest.

Tuchel has regularly had his job called into question, though, particularly this campaign following an underwhelming start to their latest Ligue 1 title defence.

But Tuchel has defended his record in the French capital and suggested too much is being asked of him.

"We were one game from winning the Champions League," he told SPORT1. "We never had the feeling we had convinced people and that they recognised our achievement. It sometimes makes you a little sad and angry.

"There are definitely extreme expectations here. You get the feeling the appreciation for what we do, particularly in the league, is not there as it is at, say, Bayern Munich.

"They always say, 'They have [Angel] Di Maria, [Kylian] Mbappe, Neymar. Of course they win against Bordeaux - that's not an achievement.'

"And with that there is no appreciation for our discipline, sustained play, the intensity of our play.

"It's a shame for the players because very serious team performances can be completely wiped out."

Tuchel's position as PSG head coach appears to be safe again after recovering to advance through a tricky Champions League group and into the knockout stages.

The French champions finished ahead of RB Leipzig, Manchester United and Istanbul Basaksehir to set up a last-16 tie with fellow heavyweights Barcelona.

"We know how difficult it was to win that group," Tuchel said. "You sometimes have to celebrate that with the team in order not to get bitter.

"We do our best every day with the best possible energy. Resistance makes you stronger during your career because you have to learn to deal with these things. If everything is always good, you won't get any better.

"You cannot make yourself dependent on what others think. You have to remain yourself, then you learn to go again."

Following spells with German and French giants Dortmund and PSG, Tuchel hinted he will consider coaching a smaller club in the future.

"I don't know whether it has to be higher, higher, higher," he said. "I just like football. In a club like this, it's not always just about the football.

"Sometimes I make a substitution and it's a topic for two weeks. I think to myself, 'I just want to coach.'

"I know why I became a coach. I can find what I'm after anywhere there is half a space for me to train and a DVD player for me to make videos.

"But when you hear the Champions League anthem, you see things in training that simply inspire you because there's so much quality, then you become addicted.

"At heart I love the game and can find that satisfaction in many ways as a coach."