BLUES boss Thomas Tuchel has told his team to adopt a “realistic approach” to their Premier League ambitions this season and secure a vital top-four finish.

Third-placed Chelsea trail defending champions and runaway leaders Manchester City by 16 points, with any thoughts of the title long gone.

The Blues have already lifted the European Super Cup and Club World Cup titles this term however, and face Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final.

Chelsea are still also in the hunt for the FA Cup and will bid to defend their Champions League crown – but Tuchel admitted his players can ill afford to lose any Premier League focus.

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And Tuchel will send his players into Saturday’s clash at Crystal Palace with a clear message to drive back to their top form in the league.

“The 16 points (gap on City) sounds too much, is too much, to where we want to be and what we demand of ourselves, but it’s the reality,” said Tuchel.

“To reach your targets, a realistic approach is also necessary. So we should not get confused about winning the Premier League.

“And we still have to realise we are in the race for top four right now, which is a huge thing in Premier League in general. At the end of the season you can look back and think about the reason why it is like this, and try to do stuff better.

“You can do of course stuff within the season, try to improve, and this is what we do. But right now the focus has to be on a realistic approach, that we are in the race for the top four, and that maybe in the moment things are not super easy for us.

“But that we like the matches and don’t get frustrated when the matches are tough. We will not start judging competitions now, the most important game is at Crystal Palace tomorrow.

“And after that we go switching competitions, which is positive because it shows how we are progressing.

“So we should not lose faith now, and not get frustrated or less passionate about what we do. We must keep on going and push ourselves to the limit.”

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