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Graham Potter offered 100% backing by Chelsea squad after tie-winner hits out at criticism over 47-year-old



IMAGO / Action Plus

Graham Potter delivered when the pressure was on after Chelsea’s Champions League triumph to book their place in the quarter-finals.

Chelsea had it all to do on Tuesday night against Borussia Dortmund heading into the tie, given they lost one nil in the first leg last month in Germany.

After a pressure-relieving win over Leeds United, Chelsea made it back-to-back wins to continue the good momentum and progress into the last-eight of Europe.

Raheem Sterling’s 43rd minute goal opened the scoring at Stamford Bridge, before Kai Havertz slotted away his penalty at the second attempt in the second half to seal a 2-0 win for Chelsea in the English capital and a 2-1 victory on aggregate.

The emotions at full-time for everybody connected with the club showcased how much it meant to everyone after the difficult period. It was a defining week for head coach Potter, whose job was claimed to be on the line had they not won against either of Leeds and Dortmund.

But they passed the test with flying colours when it mattered most and Potter emphasised why it was so important to end the rotten run to breathe a new lease of life in west London.

“I don’t really think about it in that way,” responded the 47-year-old over whether it seemed like a make or break match versus Dortmund. “There are always going to be those types of questions and noise. My job is to help the team, help the players, prepare the team as well as we could and to support them. They’ve been suffering as well. Nobody has enjoyed the run we’ve had. That’s why today was important for us. We wanted to progress, and we have, so we’re happy.”

Potter has had a lot of critics, including the Chelsea fans – many of whom have called for him to be sacked in recent weeks.

The players have continued to stand by their manager, an indication of the sign of change at Chelsea which was once so heavily influenced by player power.

Havertz spoke to beINSPORTS post-match and responded to the backing and support of Potter, speaking in such high regard of the Chelsea head coach and slammed the extensive talk around him.

He admitted: “We know that the pressure is coming at him. You can see that he’s a big manager. In the media I cannot believe how many people have to talk to him.

“We have hundreds of coaches in England you know, that think they know better than him! We know in the changing room that he has a big personality and a big manager for us!

“He helps us all a lot, me included, so we are 100 percent behind him. Even though the people don’t see it, today everyone saw that he’s a big manager.”