Potter ‘understands’ boos and reveals what he ‘couldn’t believe’ in shock Southampton loss

Jason Soutar
Chelsea head coach Graham Potter during a match

Graham Potter credited Southampton for their win against Chelsea and admits he ‘understands’ why he was booed at full-time.

Pressure is mounting on the Blues head coach after another woeful result.

Potter left Brighton to replace Thomas Tuchel in the dugout earlier this season and had a solid start to life in west London before his first defeat opened the floodgates.

He was heavily backed in the January transfer window with the likes of Enzo Fernandez and Mykhaylo Mudryk joining for huge fees.

Defeat at home to Southampton leaves Chelsea tenth in the Premier League with as many defeats as wins this season (eight).

Furthermore, they have only scored 23 league goals, the least in the top half by 12.

Potter admitted after the Saints loss that it was a poor first-half showing, but that his side improved in the second 45 minutes.

He told the BBC: “The first half was below par from us. Credit to Southampton, they mixed the game up well. For different reasons we weren’t at the level we should have been in the first half.

“In the second half our response was really good. You have to put those chances away. The scoreline isn’t good enough for us, we’re disappointed with that. James Ward-Prowse is elite at what he does.

“We got into some really good opportunities and at the level we’re playing at, you have to score them. We had that in the week against Dortmund, but the first half was probably a reflection of us returning from the Champions League, the changes we had to make and a lack of fluidity.”

Potter then said boos from the home fans were justified.

“The results aren’t what we want,” he said. “You can completely understand the supporters’ frustration.

“Our job is to keep working and keep trying to improve the team in what is a difficult period for us all.”

Potter also told Sky Sports: “I thought first half we were below par. We got punished at the end by James Ward-Prowse, he is elite at that. Our level of performance in the first half was not great. Credit to Southampton they mixed their game up well.

“Second half we pushed and pushed but we had goalscoring opportunities that we need to score. It is the story of where we are at at the moment.

“We should do better than we did in the first half and I take responsibility for that. In the second half we had some good chances to score and I can’t quite believe how we didn’t.”

Club captain Cesar Azpilicueta was forced off with what looked like a serious head injury after his face connected with Sekou Mara’s boot as the Southampton forward attempted an overhead kick.

Potter provided an update on the Spanish stalwart: “He is conscious, he is in hospital. We are monitoring and are very concerned for him but he is in the best place for him with the hospital.

“It was a horrible incident. I think he was unconscious at one point so it was worrying for everyone. It was accidental but still it was a kick in the face and you can see how bad it was.”

READ MORE: Todd Boehly is killing Graham Potter with kindness – Chelsea simply can’t go on like this