Graham Potter ‘not the problem’ at Chelsea after Southampton slump

Graham Potter is adamant he is “not the problem” at Chelsea, although he admits losing at home to Southampton was a “step backwards”.

Chelsea fell 1-0 at bottom of the Premier League as they suffered a third defeat in six games at Stamford Bridge, extending their league winless streak to four.

Some fans booed at the end of an eighth game in 13 in which an expensively assembled side failed to score, but Potter was optimistic about his managerial credentials afterwards.

“Any criticism is understandable after a 1-0 home defeat,” said the former Brighton manager, whose side were beaten by a James Ward-Prowse free-kick.

“We’ve had a tough time, we’ve had a lot of challenges integrating young players into the Premier League. While the results won’t go your way, it can be difficult.

“I’m sure there will be people out there who think I’m the problem. I don’t think they are right.

“I’m not arrogant enough to say her opinion isn’t worth articulating. My job is to help the team keep going during a difficult time.

“The truth is that we took a step back in our performance in the first half. The response in the second half was good, but not good enough.

“With all due respect to them, if we lost 1-0 at home to Southampton, that’s not good enough. The first half was as much my responsibility as anyone else’s. I didn’t like the performance.

“I thought the performance was better in the second half and that we deserved a goal. If we score, the game changes. But 1-0 is not good and we are disappointed about that.”

Chelsea’s day was complicated by a serious second-half injury to captain Cesar Azpilicueta, when the defender left the pitch on a stretcher wearing an oxygen mask after receiving a kick to the head from Sekou Mara.

“He’s in the hospital,” Potter said. “He’s conscious. He is in the best place and we will continue to monitor him.”

Chelsea’s next game is a London derby at Tottenham Hotspur on February 26.

(Photo: Getty Images) Graham Potter ‘not the problem’ at Chelsea after Southampton slump

Russell Falcon

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