11 November 2022

Potter To Speak To Chelsea Owners During WC Break | 'You Need Time To Reflect'  (Sky Sports)

Graham PotterGraham Potter says he will use the World Cup break to "recover" and speak to Chelsea's owners after a mixed start to his time at Stamford Bridge.

Potter began his reign following his move from Brighton in September with a nine-game unbeaten run but results have deteriorated in recent weeks, with just two wins from their last seven matches.

Chelsea face a difficult trip to in-form Newcastle on Saturday - live on Sky Sports - knowing a defeat would make it three in a row in the Premier League after their losses to Brighton and Arsenal. The last time the Blues suffered such a run came between October and November 2015 - just a month before Jose Mourinho was sacked as manager with the club hovering above the relegation zone.

The Premier League will go on hiatus following this weekend's fixtures as the winter World Cup gets under way, and Potter said he will use the break to reflect on leading his new side into 14 matches in just over 10 weeks.

"I'm a human being as well," said Potter. "I've come from Brighton, where everything was pretty much organised over a three-year period.

"Pretty quickly you're into the washing machine in terms of the games and the turnaround.

"You have to deal with all that's going on and the amount of matches you play, and then you need a bit of time to reflect - if there is that time.

"There is because of the World Cup break and it would be stupid of me not to use that time to rejuvenate, to recover, to reflect and to improve."

The World Cup - which will see Chelsea enter the mid-season break outside the top four of the Premier League, regardless of their result at Newcastle - also provides Potter with the opportunity to speak to Chelsea owner Todd Boehly and his consortium.

"We have regular dialogue so that's part of an ongoing process," said Potter. "Sometimes you need to reflect, you need to think and you need to analyse and if you have the space to do it, it's better.

"Absolutely, we need to think about what's happened and we need to think about what we need to do to improve."

Potter: James thought he was close to England selection

Chelsea's contingent of English players received mixed news when Gareth Southgate finalised his squad for the World Cup, with Conor Gallagher, Mason Mount and Raheem Sterling being included in the 26 while Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Trevoh Chalobah were left out.

Reece James and Ben Chilwell will also miss the tournament in Qatar thanks to injuries suffered in recent weeks, and Potter admitted the wing-backs found the news tough to deal with.

"It's a natural reaction to be disappointed," said the head coach. "Reece thought it would be close. He did everything he could to give himself a chance but in the end fell a little bit short.

"Obviously, I understand the decision and I understand Reece's frustration and disappointment. You just try to focus on the rehab and get them back as soon as we can.

"I think [they've both been down]. It's normal, isn't it? It's a World Cup - they don't come around very often so to miss them is disappointing, but they're strong characters. They'll be fine."

Potter revealed he has also spoken to Loftus-Cheek and Chalobah, who were on Southgate's 55-player longlist ahead of the squad announcement.

"We've had a brief conversation," he said. "They're both level-headed guys and they're very respectful.

"They understand the decision is not an easy one. They thought they might have a chance but that's life. They accept it. But naturally there's going to be disappointment."