By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Tuchel backs Upamecano for UCL return: "It may be the case that he has to play."

After the Frenchman experienced another difficult shift off the bench on Saturday afternoon, FC Bayern München head-coach Thomas Tuchel made it clear that he and his staff still supported Dayot Upamecano. 

Part of a €200 million central defensive corps invariably prone to ill-timed errors over the course of FC Bayern München's disappointing season, Dayot Upamencano has experienced another year in which he's made woeful mistakes under the massive magnifying glass that is a professional life with Germany's record champions. Saturday proved no exception. The 25-year-old played a stray pass directly onto the feet of Köln's Luca Waldschmidt late in the match. Shortly before Thomas Müller put the result beyond all doubt, Köln could have actually equalized. 

"We conceded a great chance in the closing minutes," Tuchel acknowledged at his post-match press conference, "Of course, there are far too many large individual mistakes at the moment. Köln let us off the hook today. That was a huge error [from Upamecano late]. Dayot Upamecano has been directly involved in the conceding of far too many goals recently." 

Tuchel immediately took care to emphasize that he and his staff still backed Upamecano to serve in central defense. Upamecano's teammates Matthijs de Ligt, Eric Dier, and (most especially) Min-Jae Kim have also not had the greatest of years. Upamecano has not been used in the Champions' League since a disastrous deployment in the first-leg of the round-of-16 tie against Lazio in which he put his team at a disadvantage by getting sent off. Tuchel made clear that he may be prepared to forgive the Frenchman for that lapse. 

"We know about his potential, quality, and ambition," Tuchel said on Saturday, "And those may be necessary on Wednesday. It may be the case that he has to play and help us secure a successful outcome. I hope he knows and feels that he has our full support. There's no time to look back or rub salt in his wounds. We have to remain positive. He has our full support." 
 

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