Graham Potter urges Chelsea to 'ride out the storm' after slipping to 10th in the table

A 1-0 defeat to Manchester City leaves the Blue down in mid-table in the Premier League

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Chelsea manager Graham Potter said he was proud of his players for their performance in the 1-0 Premier League defeat to Manchester City on Thursday night and urged everyone to stick together to "ride out the storm" after another damaging setback.

Riyad Mahrez condemned Chelsea to a fourth defeat in their past six league games with his 63rd-minute goal, leaving the Blues 10th in the table and 10 points behind fourth-placed Manchester United in the last of the Champions League spots.

City, meanwhile, claimed a crucial victory to their hopes of chasing down leaders Arsenal and have reduced the gap to five points.

Chelsea were much the better side in the first half at Stamford Bridge and Carney Chukwuemeka came close to breaking the deadlock when he hit the post shortly before the break. But as City improved after the interval, familiar problems resurfaced for the hosts, who struggled to create chances and regain a foothold in the match.

"The lads gave everything, it was spirited and we had some opportunities against a top team," Potter said.

"I liked what we tried to do against a top side. We were competitive and had spirit on the pitch, courage in attack and took responsibility at the back. Apart from the result, as we hate to lose, I’m proud of the players."

Worryingly for Chelsea in their hopes of arresting their slump is the mounting injury list. Former City forward Raheem Sterling was forced off with an apparent hamstring issue early in the game, before American winger Christian Pulisic followed.

N'Golo Kante, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Edouard Mendy, Armando Broja, Mason Mount, Ben Chilwell, Reece James, and Wesley Fofana are all absent with various injury problems.

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"It is tough at the moment and certainly doesn’t make it any easier. I feel for the boys of course as it’s one of those times but we have to stick together," Potter said about Chelsea's injury crisis.

"It was disappointing to lose the guys early on but the players that came onto the pitch gave everything and that’s all you can ask for.

"It’s too soon for an update. Raheem was with his first action of the game with a back-heel and Christian had some contact on his knee so fingers crossed it’s not too bad."

Chelsea manager Graham Potter said he was 'proud' of his players after defeat to Manchester City. Reuters

On England midfielder Mount's late withdrawal, Potter said: "Mason Mount also had a kick yesterday in training, he’ll hopefully be OK for the weekend. I’ve never experienced anything like it but we just have to carry on."

Potter admitted that Chelsea's form and current position in the table are major causes for concern but said the squad and fans need to stay united as the team looks to reverse their fortunes.

"You have to take responsibility when we’re not playing well but at the same time you hope people look at the whole context in terms of what we’ve had to deal with," he said.

"Emotions are high. We’ll try to ride out the storm and I think the crowd appreciated the performance and were behind the team tonight. Our supporters were fantastic and got behind the team in a great way."

Updated: January 06, 2023, 4:45 AM