Chelsea’s Potter calls for patience after fresh defeat

LONDON: Chelsea coach Graham Potter said he understood why fans were asking how much longer he would stay in the job after a latest loss on Sunday, but he said the contrasting fortunes of other top club bosses showed how quickly things could turn around.

Speaking after a 2-0 defeat at the home of arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur – the 13th time in 15 games in all competitions that Chelsea have failed to win – Potter said he was frustrated and disappointed by the latest setback.

“Well, there’s always that question,” he said when asked about the patience of Chelsea’s American owners who have so far shown much more restraint than former Blues owner Roman Abramovich would typically fire coaches after a few bad results.

He pointed to the way Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta had led his side to the top of the Premier League this season after coming under fierce criticism from Gunners’ fans in previous years when they struggled.

Potter also highlighted Liverpool boss Juergen Klopp’s inability to halt the slide in form of his side after winning the Champions League and the Premier League in recent years.

“That’s just the nature of football and obviously I haven’t done enough for this club to have too much good faith,” said the former Brighton & Hove Albion coach – who arrived at Stamford Bridge last September.

“I try to focus on keep helping the team supporting the players because I really like these players, they’re good lads, they want to do better,” he added. “But at the moment we’re suffering and that’s my responsibility.”

Potter also faced questions from reporters about his side’s inability to score, having found the net only once in their last five league games.

Unlike recent matches, such as the 1-0 defeat by Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League and a 1-0 home loss to bottom club Southampton, when the Blues failed to convert a string of chances, both they and Spurs failed to create many opportunities on Sunday, he said.

The loss of several players through injury and easing them back into action, plus integrating a host of new signings, represented challenges, Potter added.

“So as a team, we’re just not quite there in terms of how we want it to look and how we want to really function in a good way. And scoring goals is the difficult part of the game,” he said. – Reuters