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Potter: It’s been a really tough period at Chelsea but there’s no time for excuses



(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Graham Potter believes that Chelsea have been dealing with a really tough period but they need to push on as there is no time for excuses.

The Blues have had a very disappointing open half of the season, sitting eighth in the Premier League going into January was not what was expected of this Chelsea side.

After the new ownership team, fronted by Todd Boehly, arrived in May and splashed the cash in a club-record summer transfer window, the west London outfit were tipped to be challenging on all fronts for trophies.

However, it has been a rocky start, despite qualifying for the Round of 16 in the Champions League, Chelsea are out of the Carabao Cup, have a tough test to come against Manchester City in the FA Cup third round and are struggling in the league.

It took just seven games in all competitions for the Blues to make a massive change, they fired Thomas Tuchel and replaced him with Brighton & Hove Albion’s Potter.

While things started smoothly, with the Englishman leading Chelsea on a run of nine games unbeaten, everything turned rather sour before the World Cup break in Qatar.

In their final five matches before the tournament began, the Blues suffered four defeats, including a particularly embarrassing 4-1 defeat to Potter’s former south-coast side.

The over month long break has seemingly done Chelsea some good though, as they bounced back with a comfortable 2-0 win over AFC Bournemouth on Tuesday night.

Head coach Potter will be hopeful his side can extend their good run, and ahead of a clash against Nottingham Forest on New Year’s Day, he spoke in his pre-match press conference about how important it is the Blues put this tricky phase of problems behind them.

He said: “It’s been a real tough period, as challenging as there has been in my time as a coach. But we’re Chelsea and people don’t want to hear those reasons/excuses. We have got to get on with it and try our best to find the answers.”

As they head into the New Year, Potter shared his hopes for 2023: “We want to keep improving, that’s the simple answer. We’ve had a challenging time, some ups and downs in terms of the previous year.

“That is normal I think in any football club but we want to try to stabilise and improve. We want to make our supporters happy because we know the last few weeks before the break wasn’t nice for us.

“Results suffered and performances weren’t where we want them to be. So we have to do better than that.”

If Chelsea can pick up another valuable three-points with a good performance against Steve Cooper’s side, it should add further momentum as they head into two tough games against Manchester City in the Premier League and FA Cup.