Potter offers reasons for Chelsea form amid mounting pressure and fan frustration

Graham Potter has opened up on the current situation at Chelsea and the mounting pressure on his shoulders.

Chelsea have won just two of their last 14 matches in all competitions, a run far worse than the final weeks of Jose Mourinho’s ill-fated second stint at the club in 2015/16.

Their last outing saw them lose 1-0 at home to bottom-of-the-league Southampton, with their next game being a London derby against fourth-placed Spurs.


Speaking ahead of that game, Graham Potter said that ‘there are loads of factors’ for the defeat, and said that the players have had ‘one-to-ones’ to ‘put things into perspective’.

“It’s always tough when you lose, and certainly when you lose at home,” he told the media. “It’s very tough, that’s normal.

“The response from the players has been really good. We’ve had conversations and one-to-ones, we’ve talked and tried to put things into perspective as well because that is also important. At the same time, it’s been a tough week.”

Asked what that perspective is, he said: “You have to take two positions. It’s not good to lose at home and the results haven’t been good enough for us. It’s important to acknowledge that.

“At the same time, you’ve got to look at it as the third game in a week, where we’re at as a squad, what we’ve had to endure this season, why we are where we are, there are lots of factors. At the same time, we have to analyse the situation correctly and properly and demand more and make things better. That is what we want.”

Reports have suggested that the club’s co-owners, Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali, are determined to stand by the under-fire manager, and Potter insists that the main source of pressure on him is coming from the media.

“Yes, I’ve spoken to them and it’s the same as it’s always been,” he said. “There has always been support. I’ve been under pressure here for four months from you guys. Have you spoken to the owners? Do you have their support? That continues and they’ve been great, brilliant.

“They also see where we’re at but at the same time are frustrated because the results are what they are and we have to do better.”

Boos rang out around Stamford Bridge following the 1-0 loss, and Potter accepts it was a ‘fair response’ to a disappointing defeat.

“Supporters, rightly so, are upset because we lost at home to Southampton. Supporters care and when they are upset, they let their feelings be known and we expect that. It would be naive to not think that is a fair response.

“I’ve had a lot of support from the supporters as well and while everyone would agree we’re not happy with the current situation and position, there are a lot of people who recognise where we’re at, what’s happened, and what the challenges have been for us. In the meantime, I know there isn’t anything I can say – if they are against us, – with us. The solution is that we have to win matches.

“If you are Chelsea and lose 1-0 at home to Southampton, who are bottom of the league, then you expect fans to be critical and voice their criticism. That’s fair, there is no point in me saying that isn’t right. That is completely ok.

“Then it’s about how we analyse the situation we’re in now, how we analyse this season, are their factors that bring us to this point, and then we have to consider those as well. As I said, you’ve got to hold both positions. Results haven’t been good enough, defeat at home to Southampton isn’t good enough, and you’re entitled to be angry. My response is there are contributing factors to that result as well.”

Potter is now among the favourites to be the next Premier League manager to be sacked, and the Blues boss admits that the pressure is ‘part of life at Chelsea’.

“You’re asking me the question but I don’t think anyone is really bothered about the truth. I’m the manager of Chelsea and I’ve been asked for four months about the pressure, which is a two-way thing. Four months ago, was I under pressure? I don’t know. But now when the results are what they are, you accept it. It’s fascinating to see the process play out – and I’ve sat here for four months about pressure, time, speaking to the owners – that is part of life at Chelsea.

“You have to accept the fact that when the results are what they are, you accept criticism and it should come. That is fair. The mood in here as been relatively positive and respectful, but that isn’t to say it’s easy at all. Your family life suffers, your mental heath suffers, and your personality suffers. It’s hard. But you’re not really bothered. It’s how it is.”

Read – Chelsea squad have ‘doubts’ over Potter, ‘genuine concern’ from English players

Read also – Iconic Performances: Arsenal legend Bergkamp scores THAT hat-trick at Leicester

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