Potter cites Guardiola example in message to Chelsea fans who want him sacked

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Graham Potter and Pep Guardiola (Image: Clive Brunskill/Getty)
Graham Potter and Pep Guardiola (Image: Clive Brunskill/Getty)

Graham Potter hopes Chelsea’s owners will give him time to get things right — just as today’s FA Cup third-round opponents Manchester City did with Pep Guardiola.

After a dismal run which has seen the Blues win just one of their last eight Premier League games, Potter is already feeling the heat at Stamford Bridge. Some Chelsea fans don’t think him up to the task and he knows that, during the past two decades, when Roman Abramovich owned the club, that kind of sequence would have been more than enough to get him the sack.

Potter is honest and humble enough to accept he hasn’t got every single call right since replacing Thomas Tuchel in September. But the 47-year-old is adamant he is the right man for the job and insists he wouldn’t have left Brighton if he didn’t think Todd Boehly, Behdad Egbahli and the rest of the board would give him the backing he needs to lead the club into the post-Abramovich era.

Potter said: “The owners are billionaires, so they are quite smart. Smarter than me, for sure.

“So they understand the challenges we have and the direction we want to go in. I’ve been here four months and five or six weeks of that have been lost to international football.

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“Pep was at Manchester City a year before they won anything and Mikel Arteta and Jurgen Klopp took a bit of time. Maybe it’s different for me, for some reason,” he added, defiantly. "But I don’t put a timescale on it.

“I know the responsibility we have but also I know that I am capable.”

Potter cites Guardiola example in message to Chelsea fans who want him sackedGraham Potter has been criticised as a result of some of Chelsea's recent performances (Robin Jones/Getty)

Asked if he felt lucky to be at Chelsea at a time when there isn’t a revolving manager’s door, he said: “I would always feel lucky to be at Chelsea as I feel grateful and privileged to be here.

“I understand where you’re coming from but there’s a completely different ownership now and this is hard for people to get their head around as Chelsea, for 20 years, has been one thing and now, all of a sudden, it’s different.

“But, again, the reason to take the job was because you’ve got a chance to shape a club that is in a massive transitional period and, with that, I knew there would be extreme challenges.

“It’s not like I was jumping at the first opportunity to leave Brighton. I had other opportunities to leave but this one felt like the right one because of the owners, because of the support that they would give, and that has proven to be the case.

“I’m not naive enough to think that if you’ve had the results we’ve had there’s not going to be some criticism and negativity, it would be strange to think that.

“Again, I’m not sitting here as some egomaniac who has all the answers and gets everything right.

Potter cites Guardiola example in message to Chelsea fans who want him sackedPotter believes Chelsea's owners will give him the time he feels is needed at Stamford Bridge (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

“But, at the same time, there are some challenges that we face, there are some margins in the Premier League that are difficult, we have had a massive transition, problems in terms of injuries don’t make it easy to be stable…

“But it’s sort of ‘blah, blah, blah’, isn’t it?

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“People want to see results and, ‘Shut up, Graham. What are you talking about? We need to win’.

“We always want to try to compete and, in terms of how that is measured, you have to take the season how it is and analyse it at the end of the season. We’re not even halfway through it yet.

“I’ve acknowledged the team hasn’t functioned as well as we would have liked and there are lots of reasons. I can’t sit here and say I’m a perfect person so I haven’t done everything completely right.

“But at the same time there are some factors that would take into consideration where we’re at.

“That’s for other people to judge. For me, it’s about how we can keep on improving and then at the end of the season you have to assess what’s happened.”

Tom Hopkinson

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15.07.2024, 17:44 • Investigation