Thomas Tuchel is confident Chelsea can reach the standards set by Liverpool and Manchester City but accepts there is no guarantee he will be given the time to prove himself.
Chelsea finished 33 points behind Liverpool last season and are currently 21 behind City.
And while Tuchel’s target is a top four finish this season, he’s already looking to the next campaign, when he believes the gap will be significantly smaller.
“If you read these numbers out loud then it seems not,” Tuchel said. “But we should not limit our thoughts. We should try and not prepare for excuses. The amount of points shows how big the gap is. But it has to be the ambition to close it as fast as possible.
“It’s a thin line between the argument and giving already an excuse to myself and the players. I don’t want to do that. It’s not my nature and you can only push yourself to the limit if you don’t accept it from the beginning.
“Will we close the gap to City this season? No. But next season on we start with zero points. City were in trouble this season and nobody took advantage. It’s proven in sports that you can do an extraordinary step, improve staff and grow if you catch the momentum. Now we are challenging for top four, which was a big task when we stepped in, and from next year we will challenge for all titles.”
Tuchel smiled at a mention of Chelsea’s history of sacking managers.
“I have to earn it that I can have the same time as Jürgen and Pep,” Tuchel added. “This was no gift to them. I think everybody in the club saw what they are doing and this is what I have to prove. I have to live every day to make my impact here and to show that I deserve the same amount of time to build teams. But I don’t have the feeling that it’s an obstacle that holds me back from building.”