Tuchel: Now is the time for PSG to be confident

AFP

Thomas Tuchel sees no reason to make drastic changes at Paris Saint-Germain following their 2-1 Champions League defeat to Borussia Dortmund.

A double from Erling Haaland saw Dortmund claim the advantage in the first leg of the last-16 tie last week, though Neymar did grab an away goal.

PSG have Ligue 1 games with Dijon and Strasbourg sandwiched by a Coupe de France semi-final against Lyon before the return leg at the Parc des Princes.

Tuchel refused to overreact to what was PSG's first defeat in 24 matches, which was followed by a thrilling 4-3 win over Bordeaux, indicating that finding rhythm will be the most important thing for his side ahead of facing his former club again.

"We lost a match 2-1. It can happen that a team loses in Dortmund. It is a stronger team than at the start of the season," Tuchel told a media conference ahead of the visit of Dijon on Saturday. 

"Maybe we lacked rhythm, from several important players. Now is not the time to change. They absolutely want to move on from Dortmund.

"For many players, important players, it is the time to be confident. We lost one game out of 20, or even more than that, so two draws, one loss. It is a good time to be confident.

"We don't want to change too many things, to leave some players to their own responsibilities, because they want to change the result of the game against Dortmund and they want to win tomorrow, then in Lyon and we will do that step by step.

"When we arrive at Dortmund, then we will prepare for that game."

Neymar and Marco Verratti will not face Dijon because of suspension, while Thiago Silva, Ander Herrera, Colin Dagba and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting are all sidelined.

The absence of Neymar could lead to another opportunity for Edinson Cavani, who scored his 200th goal for PSG in the victory against Bordeaux.

Tuchel was asked about his selection in the team ahead of Mauro Icardi, who has scored 19 goals since joining on loan from Inter, but gave the question short shrift.

"Well it is always the same question, before it was why he is playing while Edinson Cavani is on the bench? And now it is the other way around," he replied.

"We trust every player, including Edinson Cavani, and now, I think it is the time for him. He gave everything, he scored a goal, did an assist.

"He had a lot of moments, and with strikers, that is how it is. It is like that with everybody, but especially with strikers."