Graham Potter impressed Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly by axing two first team players for the must-win matches against Leeds United and Dortmund.
Confidence in the ex-Brighton boss was said to have been wavering ahead of Saturday’s Premier League game after a poor run of form which had seen Chelsea win just two of their last 12 games in all competitions.
A 1-0 win over Leeds helped steady the ship before last night’s 2-0 win against Dortmund which went a long way to transforming the mood at the club.
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Boehly was seen after the match embracing the manager who has earned a stay with a Champions League quarter final now on the horizon.
Potter has had to shake the ‘nice guy’ image in order to convince Chelsea fans and hierarchy that he possesses the steel needed to coach a big club and handle the various personalities in the club’s dressing room.
The Daily Telegraph claims that Potter held a number of one-to-one talks with senior players prior before the biggest week in his career that helped to still the waters.
And, Boehly and Behdad Eghbali took encouragement from the way in which Potter has dealt with Hakim Ziyech and Mudryk in a bid to turn Chelsea’s form around, with neither of the two playing against Leeds or Dortmund.
Ziyech was handed a start last month after the late collapse of his transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.
Mudryk, meanwhile, has been on the bench in each of the last two matches with his first six appearances for his new club failing to yield a goal or an assist.
Despite his huge transfer fee, Potter has not felt pressurised into playing the most expensive of Boehly’s signings and is choosing to take a more patient approach with the player’s adaptation process.
Asked if he felt he had turned a corner after the comeback against Dortmund, Potter said: ‘I think the supporters have been really fair with us. [The] supporters care, so when the results aren’t what they want, they feel pain.
‘They have to articulate that pain somehow, to get rid of it, and whether that’s at me or whoever it is, we all know in this job that is what happens. They’ve been really supportive, they really have.
‘They’ve stuck with the team and helped us on the pitch. Rightly so, when we haven’t performed the way we should, they’ve let their feelings known and that’s fair enough.
‘You always need a bit of luck, as much as we think we’re these talented coaches and talented players.
‘I would say before the World Cup, we had nine players out. If you have no Reece James, no N’Golo Kante, no Wesley Fofana, no Ben Chilwell, no Loftus-Cheek, no Sterling – these players are important for us as well. Tonight they had some players missing and that goes in our favour. I’m not going to complain about that at all.’