Graham Potter says criticism part of job 'you have to deal with' after Chelsea defeats

Blues manager goes into League Cup clash at Manchester City on back of two Premier League losses

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Chelsea manager Graham Potter accepts criticism is part of the job “you have to deal with” after his team suffered back-to-back defeats in the Premier League.

On Sunday, Chelsea were beaten 1-0 at home by London rivals Arsenal, which came one week after an embarrassing 4-1 thrashing at Potter's former club Brighton.

Up until that defeat at the Amex Stadium, Potter had been unbeaten since taking over from Thomas Tuchel in September – a run that included home and away victories against Italian champions AC Milan in the Champions League that helped secure their place in the last 16, where they will take on Borussia Dortmund.

But the honeymoon period is over for Potter after Arsenal's victory at Stamford Bridge when Chelsea managed just one shot on target and now they face a League Cup third-round tie at Manchester City on Wednesday.

“I would be lying if I said I didn't expect it at some point. You take this job on and of course there are going to be times when it is not a pleasant road. You have to deal with that,” the Blues coach said in Tuesday's press conference.

“We have had a six-week period when we have played 13 matches, eight of them away. It has a toll, with some injuries to key players. It can get messy, that is part of the process. I have been through it at Brighton, at Swansea and my club in Sweden.

“It is what it is. That is part of what the job is, to deal with it.

“When results were good I was honest enough to say there were things we needed to improve. It's not as if I could say we had cracked football.

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“Performance-wise we can improve a lot. That is the challenge. We are looking forward to this game, and the game at Newcastle [on Saturday]. That is when you can learn a lot about each other.”

The match on Wednesday will see Raheem Sterling return to the club where he enjoyed a trophy-laden seven-season spell that ended this summer when he moved to Chelsea.

But Sterling's form has been patchy so far this campaign when he has found the net just three times in 12 Premier League appearances. “You can tell by his reaction he is honest,” Potter said of the 27-year-old attacker, who will be a key player in England's attempt to lift the World Cup in Qatar.

“Players go through moments in their career when it isn't so positive and sometimes everything they touch is gold.

“I don't think you can zoom in to the individual. The team is not functioning as I would like. That has an impact on the individuals and Raheem is an individual within the team. The work for us is to try to improve the team and the structures.

“I have no doubts about Raheem's quality – he is a top, top player.”

Updated: November 08, 2022, 4:04 PM