Tuchel reveals restaurant meeting with Conor Gallagher where he APOLOGISED to Chelsea kid for FA Cup semi heartbreak
CHELSEA boss Thomas Tuchel has revealed he APOLOGISED to Conor Gallagher over the midfielder being ruled out of this weekend's FA Cup semi-final.
The 22-year-old is on loan at Crystal Palace and has been instrumental in helping Patrick Vieira's side reach the last four of the tournament.
But he will play no part in this weekend's clash against his parent club after the Blues rejected a special request from the Eagles to allow him to feature.
In the past, the West London outfit have allowed on-loan stars to play against them.
When Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori played for Derby under Frank Lampard, they were given special dispensation for a fourth round Carabao Cup tie in October 2018.
However, with the stakes much higher this time round, Chelsea have refused to give Palace permission to have Gallagher available.
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And Tuchel has revealed he spoke to Gallagher to apologise when the pair met at a restaurant.
He said: "I had the chance to speak to Conor and I could also see his frustration.
"We met some weeks ago, I think after the international break by coincidence in a restaurant and had a chat and the subject came up and I apologised because I know how competitive he is and I like him a lot.
"I know his character very well and it was a pleasure to have him here in pre-season. That’s the way it is.
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"We play to win the game and the rules were clear when we made the loan and I can totally understand Vieira and also the disappointment of Conor.
"But these were the rules when we did the loan and we don’t want to suffer from our rules."
Palace gaffer Vieira has spoken of his frustration that Gallagher cannot play, and described the situation as frustrating for the development of the Juventus and Inter Milan target.
He remarked: "I don't know if it's a bad rule but what makes me think it's not the best rule is that the only one who will lose is Conor."
Before adding: "Playing this kind of game with this importance, that's the experience that players are missing and I'm disappointed for him because he's played all of the games so far.
"If someone deserves to be part of the semi-final it's him because of his performances.
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"The decision for Chelsea to send him on loan is for him to play these kind of games and we have the opportunity to play an important game, a game that would give him more confidence and belief.
"Since he's been with us he's been fantastic and for him not to have a chance to get involved in that game, it's frustrating for his development."
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