Kovacic targeting Champions League glory with Chelsea

Having won three Champions League medals during his time at Real Madrid, Mateo Kovacic is targeting his first with Chelsea when they take on Premier League champions Manchester City on Saturday.

The Croatian admitted Chelsea are keen to turn a good season into great by winning the Champions League final against Pep Guardiola’s team. The midfielder also praised Thomas Tuchel for a remarkable turnaround at Chelsea after replacing club legend Frank Lampard in early January. He added “He came in and from the first minute the players felt a great connection with him.”

From the first meeting and the first game it was like he’d been here for two years, so everything came quite naturally and we approached his way of playing well, we understood each other from the day he came.”

He did a good job and we had a great season in the end, because we came to the Champions League final, reached the FA Cup final, got top four. So it’s a good season, but not perfect because we need to win a trophy.”

Kovacic emphasised on Chelsea’s improved defensive record under Tuchel after conceding just two goals in their last six knockout games leading to the final. The midfielder added “I think the team changed completely, how we approached the games. We were more confident, solid at the back and not conceding a lot of goals, not conceding many chances.”

We changed to a back three and I think it suits us really well with the defenders we have. It was a big change, a good change, which improved from game to game, we are doing well in this system. So I think he changed a lot and this team can only become better in my opinion.”

Having beaten Manchester City twice this season, Kovacic insisted those results will not have any bearing on Saturday’s game. He added “We won against them twice this season, but it’s a different game. Every game is different and we just have to forget the other games. Obviously we will look at the good things we have done and the bad things we have done against them, to try to be better, but it will be a new game and no team is favourite.”

City obviously are a great team, they won the Premier League this year, they had a great season. Maybe we are the underdogs in the final, but it is one game, we need to show our best and we have equal chances. We will be confident to try and be at our highest level to win this game.”

It will never be easy against City or in the Champions League final, it’s meant to be a tough game, and we are prepared for a big, tough game.”

Source: Chelsea FC

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