Team news, Mount contract talks, progress: What Potter said ahead of Chelsea vs Southampton
Graham Potter previewed Chelsea’s Premier League fixture against Southampton on Saturday afternoon at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea return to domestic action after their Champions League visit to Germany on Wednesday night, which saw them fall to a 1-0 defeat in the first leg of their Round of 16 tie.
Prior to the loss, Chelsea were four games unbeaten – all coming in the Premier League – winning one, before drawing their last three against Liverpool, Fulham and West Ham.
Chelsea are currently 10th in the league and ten points off of the top four places, with top-tier European qualification looking increasingly unlikely next season.
Southampton travel to the capital without a manager after the sacking of Nathan Jones last Sunday. First-team coach Rubén Sellés is set to lead the team at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea have struggled to find the net this season, scoring just 23 goals from their 22 games, an alarming statistic which continues to cost them dearly across all competitions.
They will be hoping to put that right on Saturday against a struggling Saints side who head into the encounter as huge underdogs.
Here is what the Chelsea head coach had to say in his pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon.
Ben Chilwell and Raheem Sterling fitness
“It’s positive. We are going to train later. Providing they come through that okay, good chance they’ll be in squad.”
Performance in Dortmund
“We can always do better. The performance was another step forward, but we have a different challenge at the weekend. Satisfied, but always room to improve.”
Marc Cucurella boos in Dortmund
“I didn’t hear that. There was 80,000 people there.”
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang latest
“We have David Fofana as well, young player with potential. There is also other forwards. Pierre is in our squad, remains an important player. Nothing is set in stone. His attitude has been really, really good.”
Mason Mount contract talks
“It’s always complicated. It’s best I leave it with Mason and the club. He has been fantastic to work with, important player. I hope it gets resolved quickly.”
Managing Ben Chilwell’s fitness
“That’s the challenge for us. The decision will be made on how he reports today and we’ll make that call probably tonight.”
Facing Southampton without manager
“What’s happened before is no reference, that’s the challenge. We have to focus on ourselves, then ready for the challenge because there is a big challenge coming our way.”
Needing some luck to score goals and win games
“I don’t like to use luck as something to wait for as you can’t control it. Dortmund game as a positive in terms of chances created. The criticism for us, fair criticism is that we haven’t attacked as well as I would have liked us to.”
Progress as a team
“We feel there is progress but you play a game, you need to win. There is a lot going on. Integrating new players into team, playing good opponents…”
“I don’t think I would have had it because I’m a traditionalist. Whatever mistake happens, happens.”
“The hardest thing to do is put the ball in [the net]. I’d like us to create more chances, the more you do… you back the quality. The final third is where we can improve, do better.”
Malo Gusto returning to Cobham
“Malo is here to help with rehab. It’s nice to meet and see him.”
Andrey Santos work permit latest
“Santos is still in the same place. We are looking at what the options are for him.”