Chelsea interim manager Bruno Saltor has NEVER picked a starting XI in his football career when he fills in for Potter
TODD BOEHLY has entrusted Chelsea’s crumbling season and £600million in new players to a man who has never picked a team before.
First-team coach Bruno Saltor was catapulted into the managerial chair following Graham Potter’s sacking and meets dugout titans Jurgen Klopp on his debut tomorrow night.
Blues chairman Boehly has temporarily blamed back-carpenter Saltor and the Spanish rookie admits he has yet to face the challenge of picking a starting XI.
Saltor, 42, said: “Tomorrow will be the first time.
“I’ve been training for four years and have trained under Graham.
“Obviously he was the manager and always had the last word. It is quite clear that it was not the case.
“I feel good. It’s my duty. A duty and a responsibility. I’m at a really important club and I want to do my best.”
Potter was axed on Sunday night, barely six months into a five-year deal after winning just four in 16 games and sliding Chelsea into the bottom half of the Premier League table at the weekend.
Billy Reid, the right hand man, followed Potter out the door but the rest of the staff stayed.
Chelsea are beginning their search for a replacement but have yet to make contact with candidates including former Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann and Fulham boss Marco Silva.
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Saltor was following Potter from Brighton to Chelsea when he left last September to oversee what is said to be a new era under new American owners.
The former Brighton defender could fill in until the end of the season if Chelsea are sidelined in the league, still in the last eight of the Champions League from both domestic cups.
Saltor insists his working relationship and friendship with Potter are intact despite the upheaval of the past 36 hours.
He also admits the seismic decision to step in and replace his sacked pal ruined his Sunday.
Saltor said: “I haven’t slept much because it’s a new situation where I’m trying to think. With a lot of things to think about, but I’ll sleep tonight.
“It was really difficult, really difficult on every single level, especially emotionally. You have to deal with the players and that’s tough. The relationship with Graham and Billy, it’s difficult to deal with and how it’s affecting the families. Really difficult 24 hours.
“The players will be sad because they know the human level of Graham. They will take responsibility as they have from day one. I just expect them to stand by our side and support us.
“I spoke to the owners. You have been very supportive. I’m concentrating on tomorrow, training today, the game tomorrow and then after that, step by step.
“It’s a huge challenge. I’ve only been training for four years, but I’ve been involved in football for 20 years. I started very early and have a lot of experience in the dressing room.
“What I’m going to try to do is help the players, guide the players because I’ve been in that situation before. Then I think I feel like I can help, especially young players.
“Pure admiration for Jürgen. I can’t say anything that everyone doesn’t know. Of course they’re going through a tough season too, but they have top players and we’re expecting a really aggressive game, high intensity and we have to be ready.
“I have an amazing relationship and pure admiration for Graham.
“The players’ job is to do well in every single training session, in every single game, and to do their best. Tomorrow they will do their best and we expect that from them.
Curiously, Chelsea revealed that the axed Potter “will work together to ensure a smooth transition.”
Saltor said: “I’m here because Graham and the club thought it was the right move and I’m trying to help the club and be as professional as possible.
“The responsibility lies with all of us. We are responsible and we have to stay positive, try to focus on the next game.”
https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/sport/football/10465879/chelsea-interim-manager-bruno-saltor-graham-potter/ Chelsea interim manager Bruno Saltor has NEVER picked a starting XI in his football career when he fills in for Potter