Tuchel has 'no doubt' about motivation of PSG players as he hits back at critics

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Thomas Tuchel has "no doubt" he still has the support of his Paris Saint-Germain players as he hit back at the recent criticism aimed his way.

The German faced yet more questions over his future on the back of Wednesday's 2-1 loss to RB Leipzig, which left PSG third in Champions League Group H at the midway point.

Tuchel guided the French giants to a domestic treble last season and to the final of the Champions League, where they were beaten 1-0 by Bayern Munich.

But defeats to Leipzig and Manchester United in Europe, plus some questionable tactical decisions, have led to suggestions PSG are on the lookout for a new head coach.

Ahead of Saturday's Ligue 1 clash with Rennes, however, Tuchel rejected talk of his position at the Parc des Princes being under threat.

Asked if his players are still motivated, Tuchel said: "Yes, I have no doubts. We've given everything and played with good energy. It is necessary to continue training with a smile.

"Of course we are disappointed when we lose games - we don't want to get used to that feeling. At the same time, we know it was possible to win that match.

"The atmosphere is one of disappointment but calm. We have a great opportunity tomorrow to widen the gap at the top of Ligue 1."

Tuchel's position has been called into question numerous times during his two-and-a-half-year tenure.

One of those occasions was on the back of a defeat to this weekend's opponents Rennes in the 2019 Coupe de France final.

But Tuchel has put his side's recent travails into perspective, with the reigning champions winning seven league games on the spin and keeping a clean sheet in six of those.

"These questions about my future were asked after various finals, the game with Atalanta [in last season's Champions League quarter-finals] ... it's always the same," he said.

"Is it a more difficult time for me now? I don't know. But some wanted to finish me off after the loss to Manchester United. That was probably the most difficult moment for me.

"We are first in Ligue 1. We lost a match in Leipzig but these are semi-finalists in the Champions League, where there was a penalty and a red card.

"Losing a game in the Champions League is not the worst situation in the world."

Former midfielder Thiago Motta is the latest name in the frame to replace Tuchel, who has an uneasy relationship with sporting director Leonardo.

The pair publicly fell out in October over the club's transfer spending and Tuchel says it can sometimes be a lonely job when results are going against his side.

"Maybe, but that's not a big deal," he responded when asked if he feels separated from Leonardo and chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi.

"We are together here. We work together and have a good relationship, from the guys in the kitchen to those in the media department.

"I don't feel like I'm alone, but it is always difficult when you don't get wins. The club are not used to not winning and that's good - we just can't let our emotions go up and down.

"We need to be focused and have some confidence in our players. We have a final against Leipzig at home later this month and have to be prepared for that."