Thomas Tuchel has admitted he will never compete with his fellow German Jurgen Klopp as a funny man.
But the straight-talking Chelsea boss is deadly serious when he says his club will be challenging with Liverpool and Manchester City for the title next season.
Tuchel is unbeaten in his first nine games in English football before the visit to Anfield on Thursday. The two former Borussia Dortmund coaches shared a win each in the same Champions League group in 2018 when Tuchel was still at Paris-Saint Germain.
But the pair have very different public images with the normally happy Klopp in contrast to the more serious – even grumpy – Tuchel.
The Chelsea boss said: “Hopefully you have got me wrong! You cannot compete at being funny with Jurgen in public and having good answers to not so good questions. He is the master.
“He can turn any question around with a big laugh. He is like this in private and public.
“I don’t know where my image comes from if you say that I have a grumpy one.
“I cannot waste my energy on what my image is. If you ask around the clubs where I have worked, I don’t think you will find too many people who will describe me as grumpy. But what you see in front of the camera with Jurgen, this is him. And the guy is a genius with his personality and he is super funny.”
Klopp has been less amused by Liverpool's recent form and instead of competing for the title tonight, Chelsea and Liverpool will be fighting for a Champions League place.
In the three seasons since the Blues last won the title in 2017, they have finished an average of nearly 30 points behind the champions.
But Tuchel insisted: “We should also not limit our thoughts. We should at least try and not prepare for excuses or whatever. I don’t want to do that.
"This is what we are up for and now we are challenging for top four, which was a big, big task when we first stepped in, and from next year we will challenge for all titles, all competitions, sure. For me Liverpool and Man City are still the benchmark,. This is the target.”
Tuchel only signed an 18-month contract in January and will have to produce results and trophies in his first full season to survive at Roman Abramovich's ruthless club.
“There is no time in football though we wish for time in football,” he added. “I have to earn it. I have to earn it that I can have the same time as Jurgen and Pep. This was no gift to them. I think everybody in the club saw what they are doing, what impact they can have on teams and on clubs, in the second step, and this is what I have to prove.”
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