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Loftus-Cheek calls for Potter support as Chelsea boss outlines Dortmund plan



(Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Ruben Loftus-Cheek has defended under pressure Graham Potter and believes the squad need ‘owe’ the Chelsea head coach ahead of their Champions League tie against Borussia Dortmund.

Chelsea won their first game in seven matches in all competitions on Saturday after a narrow 1-0 win over Leeds United in the Premier League to end a run of three straight defeats.

Some pressure was taken off Potter after the dismal run of results since November, but the big fixture comes on Tuesday night when they face Dortmund in the second leg of their Round of 16 tie.

Chelsea are currently 1-0 down following defeat in Germany last month and they have it all to do at Stamford Bridge to progress into the quarter-finals.

Potter’s side still weren’t at their best against Leeds at the weekend so will need to produce much more quality if they want to get past Dortmund.

Loftus-Cheek retained his place in the side after the Spurs defeat, however he was deployed in a wing-back role in Reece James’ absence as Potter switched to a back-three.

It was a win Chelsea needed after the last couple of weeks and Loftus-Cheek, despite many fans calling for the 47-year-old to be sacked, came to the defence of his manager after the win.

As quoted by Standard Sport, he said: “We definitely owe it to the manager. He is obviously a fantastic manager, no can argue against that after what he has done with Brighton and other things.

“It is up to us as well. We have massive respect for the manager, the way he has been sitting in front of the media with us in this poor form. And he has stuck up for us players.

“So we owe it to the manager to perform as best we can on the pitch and turn things around.”

He added: “We have a big game coming up against Dortmund here this week, and we expect to rise to that challenge. Anything can happen in the Champions League and we definitely think we can win on Tuesday.”

Potter made the formation switch on Saturday and could look to do the same in midweek when Dortmund visit the capital.

The Chelsea head coach believed the back three made them look more assured against Leeds, hinting he could stick with the same system against Dortmund.

“Yeah, I think it would,” Potter said on deploying the three-back system to make Chelsea more assured.

“Obviously it hasn’t been as straightforward as it sounds because we’ve had people dropping off regularly really, which has made it hard to have that consistency that you need, that we want.”

Potter will be hoping James is available for the European affair after being left out as a precaution due to a tight hamstring.

“Both of those, Ben (Chilwell) and Reece, have been unavailable for us for a long time so we’ve had to find different solutions,” added Potter.

“But clearly that’s two roles that they’re comfortable in and brings out their quality so something for us to go forward with.”