Hayes & Harlington Gazette

‘My job is to keep going through tough period’



GRAHAM Potter says he understand­s fans’ frustratio­ns after a section of the Stamford Bridge support turned on him following Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to bottom side Southampto­n.

His Chelsea team left the pitch amidst anger and a chorus of boos at full-time, with some voices near the dugout calling for the manager to leave following what was surely the worst result of his tenure.

The hosts lacked cutting edge despite largely dominating possession against rock-bottom Saints, and their expensivel­y assembled line-up – featuring five January signings in the starting XI – had no answer to the organised, determined side put out by Ruben Selles.

That Southampto­n showed greater cohesion despite only having had five days to prepare under the leadership of caretaker boss Selles, who replaced the sacked Nathan Jones a week ago, was further indictment of the direction Chelsea are taking under Potter.

As supporters left the ground seething with discontent, the manager acknowledg­ed their right to feel let down by the team’s plight.

“When results aren’t going well, this is the world we’re in,” said Potter. “There’s a transition and there’s factors, but at the same time there’s emotion and the team is losing. We’ve had the results we’ve had, and you can understand it.

“I’m not stupid, and I’m not naive. My job is to keep going, help the team, try and support them through a tough period. And to take the criticism.

“I think you can only be yourself. Try your best to be yourself. I get it.

When you’re losing, there’s always something you can do or you can change. I’ve always been that way, it’s got me to this point. But I know that people want something different.”

It was another game in which the club’s January recruits struggled to live up to the expectatio­ns set by the huge transfer outlay sanctioned by co-owner Todd Boehly.

Noni Madueke, Enzo Fernandez and Joao Felix showed moments of promise in midfield without ever finding the kind of link-up play that had been on display in recent weeks.

Mykhailo Mudryk offered little when he came off the bench in the second half, whilst striker David Fofana on his full debut did not look like the answer to the team’s goalscorin­g worries.

Potter called for time for the new recruits to settle in England, citing the chances created during last week’s Champions League defeat to Borussia Dortmund as a sign that things have started to improve.

“We’ve invested in some young players, if you look at Enzo and Mudryk, at Madueke,” said Potter.

“They haven’t played that many games. They’re learning to play in the Premier League.

“We’re managing quite an injury list, we’ve got players returning from injury.

“All these things are true. But unfortunat­ely when you lose they’re not what people want to hear. I know my quality and I know what I’ve done in my career. But I also understand that when results don’t go your way, you’re open to criticism and that’s fair.

“We’ve returned from Dortmund, you have to recover and try to prepare for the game. It’s a quick turnaround, we’re all disappoint­ed after Dortmund, the chances we created and the opportunit­ies we had, you need to score, that’s the reality of it.

“Today was the same. It’s something we have to keep working at, There’s reasons. I could stand here for the next five minutes and talk about reasons. But also I know we have to do better. Its not acceptable to lose 1-0 at home. Any criticism I get is fair.”

 ?? JUSTIN SETTERFIEL­D/ GETTY IMAGES ?? Graham Potter is facing more pressure after Chelsea lost to Southampto­n
JUSTIN SETTERFIEL­D/ GETTY IMAGES Graham Potter is facing more pressure after Chelsea lost to Southampto­n

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