Potter says he’s not the ‘problem’ at Chelsea following latest loss

Graham Potter says he is not the “problem” at Chelsea as the pressure mounts after the club’s 1-0 defeat by Southampton.

Chelsea have had a disastrous season so far, finishing 10th in the Premier League this weekend, 10 points off the Champions League spots.

However, their fortunes would not improve this afternoon against a managerless Southampton, James Ward Prowse’s free-kick just before half-time giving the relegation-threatened Saints a much-needed three points.

Chelsea were poor in the first half and despite an improvement after the break they again struggled in front of goal as the Blues had scored just one goal in their last five games and just six goals in all competitions since the World Cup.

There were boos at the final whistle as the pressure mounted on manager Graham Potter after a run of just two wins in the last 14, although when asked about the reaction, the Chelsea boss said he didn’t feel it was a problem.

“After a 1-0 home defeat, any criticism is understandable,” he said. “I think we’ve had a difficult time and I think we’ve had a lot of challenges in integrating young players into the Premier League. While the results may not be what you want, it can be difficult, but that’s the way it is.

“I’m sure there will be people out there who think I’m the problem, absolutely. I don’t think they’re right, but I’m not arrogant enough to say that their opinions aren’t worth articulating.

“My job is to help the team work through a team stage, we had to make some changes today and the truth is we took a step back in our performance in the first half. The response in the second half was good, but not good enough.”

Despite the club’s problems in front of goal, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has again been left out of the 20-man squad, with David Datro Fofana filling up front.

“I would say keep it up like him,” he said of Aubameyang. “We made the decision to give David the opportunity and we still had Kai [Havertz] and Raheem came and I think they influenced the game well. But of course I understand the question when you don’t score a goal and have created chances.”

Potter was held up after the game for his media duties and was asked if there was a dressing room investigation but insisted there was no conspiracy.

“There is no conspiracy, I can’t tell you that. There are many media and I think my colleague made the media before me. I always come in and talk to you guys, understand the questions and when we lost 1-0 at home to Southampton, with all due respect to that, that’s good enough given the results we’ve had lately.

“The first half is as much my responsibility as anyone else because the performance wasn’t good. I thought the performance was better in the second half and we deserved to score. When we do that, the game changes. But 1-0 is not good and we are disappointed about that.”

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