Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel has rejected the idea some of his players are untouchable after their crucial 2-1 Champions League Group C win over Liverpool on Wednesday.
Neymar and Kylian Mbappe both played through the pain barrier to secure the Ligue 1 giants three vital points and the Brazil international, who scored PSG’s second goal against Jurgen Klopp’s men, admitted he was not 100 percent fit after the match.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s trip to Bordeaux, Tuchel recognised he has key players in his group but rejected the idea they are untouchable.
“There are players who play in a lot of matches and are in the team almost every game,” Tuchel said. “They are the key players. Untouchables, though?
“We need experienced players at the highest level. In the important and decisive matches, you need quality players on the pitch, but everybody needs to be present mentally and physically and ready to do their part — it is possible to use every player.”
Tuchel admitted his players were weary on Friday, even after being given Thursday off following Wednesday’s heroics against Liverpool. He does not expect the same intensity against Bordeaux that was on display in the Champions League.
“Everybody was tired on Friday, including me,” Tuchel said. “Everybody feels better now that we have reached the weekend.
“I am not expecting the same mentality against Bordeaux as the one that we saw against Liverpool as it is not the same situation. I do not mean that it is less important — just different. We do not expect the same as we saw against Liverpool because that was a key clash.
“Anyway, we need seriousness and quality. We want to win in Bordeaux and we will have to put in a top performance to do so.”
Tuchel rejected the idea he has already picked his starting XI for the final Group C clash away at Red Star Belgrade and wants to see all of his players in action before that trip to Serbia in a fortnight.
“Ahead of Belgrade, I have no team in my head right now — I want to give everybody minutes between now and then and I need everybody to be fit,” he said. “We organise ourselves, in terms of playing time, in relation to our most important matches. I want for everybody to have played after Montpellier.”
Tuchel confirmed that right-back Thomas Meunier remains unavailable after a family bereavement, while he hinted Neymar, Mbappe, Marquinhos and Juan Bernat could all play if needed.
“For Neymar and Kylian, they can and want to play but I need to speak with them to see how they are feeling,” Tuchel added.
PSG could register a 15th consecutive Ligue 1 win if they are successful at Matmut Atlantique on Sunday, stretching their domestic and continental records from the start of this season.