Graham Potter called on Chelsea to show a united front after defeat away to local rivals Fulham heaped pressure on his position and left the Blues on their worst run of league form since 1996.
Chelsea’s 2-1 defeat at Craven Cottage, which included a red card on debut for Joao Felix and an injury to Denis Zakaria, means Potter’s side have taken just six points from their past nine Premier League games. They sit 10th in the table, 10 points off fourth-placed Manchester United who have a game in hand.
“We are suffering at the moment. We’re suffering, the fans are suffering. We feel for them,” said Potter. “It’s important to stick together and try to get through this tough period.”
Chelsea crashed out of the third round of the FA Cup on Sunday with a 4-0 thrashing at Manchester City, who also ended their Carabao Cup hopes before Christmas. With such a big gap to the top four, it seems the Champions League is their only hope of success this season.
For Potter, Thursday was another frustrating evening, with Felix’s encouraging debut cut short by his sending off, an injury list extended to 10 players, and defensive mistakes costing his side vital points.
“It’s really frustrating, incredibly challenging,” said Potter of the situation. “I feel for the supporters.
“We’re disappointed to lose tonight. I felt it was a relatively even game in the first half, we had a couple of chances. But I think the basics we can do a little bit better, in terms of our defending and football actions.
“We get back in the game and the red card is where we’re at at the moment, in terms of things that can happen to us [do happen to us].
“To lose Joao for three matches is really disappointing. Joao is a young player, a top player, you can see his quality and there wasn’t any malice [in the tackle] but the ref has a decision to make. He’ll learn from it.
“More than anything fantastic from the opponent, it was more our basic actions where we have to do better.”
Speaking to BT Sport, Potter said about Felix’s red card: “It was a forward’s tackle, there was no malice in it but I understand why it was a red. It is another blow, the hits keep coming at the moment.
“He was really good, you could see his quality in the game, so it is doubly disappointing for us.”
Source: SKY Spoerts