Saturday, December 9News That Matters

Chelsea stance on sacking Graham Potter after meeting with co-owner

Chelsea manager Graham Potter is set to avoid getting sacked this campaign after a key meeting with co-owner Behdad Eghbali.

Potter replaced Thomas Tuchel in September and got off to a good start at Stamford Bridge with a nine-game unbeaten run across the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League.

But Chelsea’s form dropped near the end of October with the Blues battered by Potter’s old club Brighton 4-1 before a 1-0 defeat to Arsenal.

Potter’s side then crashed out of the Carabao Cup with a 2-0 defeat to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City and then lost 1-0 to Newcastle.

Their sudden downturn has heaped pressure on Potter, with the London club all the way down in eighth ahead of the Premier League return after the World Cup in Qatar, as the Blues prepare to face Bournemouth on Tuesday.

Chelsea had a reputation of being ruthless with managers under Roman Abramovich, but with Todd Boehly’s takeover in the summer, the club is looking to change its approach and wants to give Potter more time to settle.

Potter flew out to California to meet co-owner Eghbali during the World Cup and has been told his future is secure, according to reports.

Potter has since spoken about that meeting and revealed: ‘I’m even more confident, even more aware of the support I have now than three months ago when I took the job.

‘It’s a credit to them and how they have communicated with me, it’s been fantastic.

‘We all know the pressure and demands at this club, but we have also got enough people who can see the perspective and where we are at to be able to say, ‘This is where we are, how can we improve?’

‘I’m really looking forward to the weeks, months and years ahead. We understand where we are at and the challenges.’

Potter added: ‘I would rather have gone on holiday with a couple of wins behind me, because I probably would have been better company for my poor wife!

‘As it was, I’m staring into the Pacific Ocean, and she’s thinking about what a wonderful time we’re having, and I’m thinking about Chelsea Football Club.

‘But thankfully she’s been with me long enough to know that that’s how it is, and then you have to use the pain, the frustration, the disappointment of the last few weeks to say, OK, how can we go forward?

‘And then, like anything, a bit of distance gives you that time, a bit of perspective, and then it’s about how you can start the process of integrating all the players back and taking the learning of that time and saying OK, we need to show some direction here.’

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