Were you impressed with the performance and did you feel it was comfortable out there?
“I didn’t feel so comfortable with me I have to say. It would’ve felt more comfortable if we’d managed to score the third one because we were lucky one time from a corner with a header from Arsenal. The momentum can shift at any time but, as you say, I think we deserved to win.
“I felt us a little bit with heavy legs in the first half, without our sharpness and freshness. We got a bit sloppy, there were easy ball losses, so there were moments when it was not so comfortable and got ourselves into some trouble.
“But I think it’s necessary to accept as we come from a unique pre-season and we continued with an overload week last week for some of the guys who had a third week of training. So putting all this together, I’m happy how we played as a team, how we attacked and defended together. I think it was a deserved victory and the perfect way to start.”
How good a start was that from Romelu Lukaku and will he give you everything you expected?
“It was a very good start. Of course, it’s the best thing when your striker scores straight away an important goal to give us the lead. On top of that, he linked up very well with Mason Mount and Kai Havertz and gave something to our game that we can play directly to the front line.
“He was also dangerous throughout the game because he’s always dangerous on counter-attacks and we brought him into the game very well already. So now it’s about details. There is stuff to improve, but it’s the beginning of the season. He almost scored a second one but which was a fantastic save from Bernd Leno. But it was a very good debut and he linked up very well. Now is the moment to continue and improve.”
How is Reece James? Is he alright after suffering a head injury?
There was no concussion at all. He was worried about his jaw and tooth, so he was a bit shocked in the first moment. Everything is alright with him. He’s very well.”
The transfer window shuts in a few days, are you happy with your squad in terms of the depth and quality you have?
“I am absolutely happy with our squad and the alternatives we have. It’s not too big a squad, we were missing Christian Pulisic today and that meant everybody else was in the squad.
“That means we maybe don’t have the biggest squad but that we have a very competitive squad in all positions. This, on one hand, is necessary because we play a lot of competitions and we play the World Club Cup in December. We also played very long last season and there was the Euros and Copa America.
“So if we want to compete we need this level. But at the same time, it’s also important we’re a strong group, this was maybe the key for the last half a year. We played with a strong bond and a great team spirit. This is a challenge for the team and for me to create this atmosphere again. And that everybody is ready to take hard decisions and keep pushing the team. If we do this we can achieve more than we have.”
How much did Romelu Lukaku’s link play with Mason Mount and Kai Havertz impress you?
“I think his profile gives us something we did not have so much. He has some depth in his game and we can overcome pressing with long balls. If we are close to the box, we can also play into him when there are defenders in his back because he is a very physical player. But we don’t lose our threat on counterattacks because he likes to run into open spaces.
“He was involved and that was good to see. He was involved in training, involved with the guys. He is a very open, smart and friendly person. So it was easy for him to connect with everybody. They like to play with each other and this is important because he gives us more opportunities. At the same time, we have to work on the details and keep on going because this was day one for him now and there’s a lot more to come.”
Romelu Lukaku looks like a player with a point to prove, how big a weapon will he be and do you think he should be feared?
“I certainly don’t think anybody wants to play against him. His physicality, strength, link play and ability to attack the space, he gives us another dimension.
“It’s our job not to lose our strength: the work-rate, team effort, and intensity against the ball. We have to bring everything together.
“It’s not only about the qualities and the skills from Romelu, it’s the package that makes it so promising for us. It’s his age, experience, that he’s a Chelsea fan whose dream was to make it at the club. This is what we felt from day one from him.
“He has this personality and he grew this personality at the clubs he played. He has played for big clubs and has this trust in himself.
“I hope he takes the pressure off our young guys’ shoulders. This was the first game played and we have a lot more to do. It’s only just begun. It’s not the time now for too much praise or celebration. We keep on going at the start of the season.”