Graham Potter is adamant he is “not the problem” at Chelsea, despite admitting that a home defeat against Southampton was a “step back”.
Chelsea slumped 1-0 against the Premier League’s bottom side as they suffered a third Stamford Bridge defeat in six games and stretched their winless run in the league to four matches.
Some supporters booed at the end of an eighth game in 13 in which an expensively-assembled side failed to score, but Potter was bullish about his management credentials afterwards.
“After a 1-0 defat at home, any criticism you get is understandable,” the former Brighton boss, whose side were beaten by a James Ward-Prowse free-kick, said.
“We’ve had a tough period, we’ve had lots of challenges, integrating young players into the Premier League. Whilst results don’t go your way, it can be tough.
“I’m sure there will be people out there who will think I’m the problem. I don’t think they’re right.
“I’m not arrogant enough to say their opinion isn’t worth articulating. My job is to help the team keeping working through a tough period.
“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.
“When we’ve lost 1-0 at home to Southampton, with the greatest respect to them, it isn’t good enough. The first half was as much my responsibility as anybody’s. I thought the performance wasn’t good.
“I thought the second-half performance was better and that we deserved to score. If we score, the game changes around. But 1-0 isn’t good and we’re disappointed with that.”
Chelsea’s day was compounded by a serious injury to captain Cesar Azpilicueta in the second half, with the defender leaving the pitch on a stretcher with an oxygen mask after taking a kick to the head from Sekou Mara.
“He’s in hospital,” said Potter. “He’s conscious. He’s in the best place and we’ll keep monitoring him.”
Chelsea’s next fixture is a London derby at Tottenham Hotspur on February 26.
(Photo: Getty Images)