Graham Potter fires warning shot at Chelsea squad in bid to nab Manchester City

The 47-year-old sent a direct message to his squad ahead of an away trip to face Pep Guardiola’s league champions in the Carabao Cup third round on Wednesday night.

After back-to-back league defeats, however, new doubts are cast over Potter and the new Boehly-Clearlake regime.

Potter believes there are still shortcomings from the previous regime and a turbulent summer – urging those around the club to realize it will take time and effort to catch the likes of City.

“It won’t be a straight line, there will be tough times,” Potter told reporters in Cobham. “The weekend was tough, the weekend before was, so it gives us a chance to learn and improve.

“My feeling with the players is that, and I think there’s a blame culture in football in general anyway, it’s easier to blame me or blame the manager because it’s a more easy.

“It’s harder to say, okay, is it something to do with the culture? Is it something to do with strategies? Is it something to do with values? Is there anything to do with the idea [that’s wrong]?

“It’s a bit more complicated and then you have to think a bit more for it, it’s not that easy to think you can just blame that guy and change him. I’m talking in general there.

All is not bleak for Potter who is excited about the challenge ahead.

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He said: “If I wanted a nice easy life, I could quite easily have stayed at work, at Brighton, in the Premier League, signed a new contract and been totally okay with it.

“I wouldn’t have had too many questions about myself or the pressure or the sacking or anything like that. But the reason to come here, one of the reasons to come here – one of many – was that it’s a fantastic football club, potentially one of the best in the world and can compete for anyone what a major trophy.

“But I think we all know we’re not there now and haven’t been there for two, three or four years. That’s the reality when you look at the league table and the difference points between the top two and Chelsea.

“Like I said, what’s exciting is that we’re in this process. We did pretty well and the players reacted very well.

“You have to go through a bit of pain to get to this point. I would be wrong to say otherwise. There is no shortcut, in my experience.


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