Chelsea manager Graham Potter knows the frustration of the fans who booed after the team lost 1-0 at home to bottom club Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday but said his critics were wrong to place all the blame on him.
Potter told reporters after his team failed to score: After the 1-0 defeat at home, any criticism of us is understandable. I think we went through a difficult period and I think we faced a lot of challenges in terms of integrating young players into the Premier League.
The former Brighton & Hove Albion boss, who replaced Champions League winner Thomas Tuchel after he was sacked by Chelsea’s new owners in September, said things had been difficult after results had gone bad.
And Potter added: This is the situation and I am sure that there will be people who think that I am the problem. I don’t think they are right but I am not arrogant to say that their opinion is not worth voicing.
He added that he took responsibility for the team’s poor first-half performance when Chelsea, who made six changes to the starting line-up who lost at Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League in midweek, were trailed by a James Ward-Prowse free kick just before halftime.
“The truth is we took a step back in terms of our performance in the first half,” Potter said. Our reaction in the second half was good, but clearly not good enough.
Thus, Chelsea, who spent about 300 million pounds ($ 361.05 million) to bolster their ranks just last month, have won only twice in their last 14 games in all competitions.
Chelsea scored 23 goals in the league this season, compared to 51 for leaders Arsenal and 60 for Manchester City, the defending champion and second place.
Defeat left Chelsea in 10th place, short of fourth place to qualify for next season’s Champions League, but for now the American owners who bought the club last year have stood by Potter and said they are building the team for the long term.
Potter explained that the club’s captain, Cesar Azpilicueta, was taken to hospital, but was conscious after he was kicked in the head in the second half, after which he was taken off the field on a stretcher after being treated by the medical staff for about ten minutes.
Potter added: He is in the hospital. He’s conscious and talking to his wife, and that’s fine. We were obviously very concerned when the incident happened.