‘The boys have been suffering – they care’: Potter relieved after Chelsea win

Graham Potter was pleased to end the suffering for his players and supporters after Chelsea eased the pressure on their head coach by beating Leeds 1-0.

Wesley Fofana’s headed goal earned them their third win in 16 games and removed the possibility of Potter being fired before his side try to save their Champions League campaign by beating Borussia Dortmund in the last 16 on Tuesday.

“It’s a nice three points and an important three points,” Chelsea’s head coach said. “It’s good for confidence and morale. The boys have been suffering because they care – they really do – and our supporters have been suffering as well.

“It’s been a tough period so the win gives us a chance to recover and prepare for a massive game on Tuesday.”

Chelsea trail 1-0 on aggregate to Dortmund, who will take encouragement from how close Leeds came to an equaliser during a nervy second half. Potter’s situation could come under review if Dortmund defeat his side, who are 10th in the Premier League.

“When we got the goal, it was a pleasing moment for us all and in the second half, it was a little us having something to lose,” Potter said. “That is where you would expect us to be given the run we’ve had.

“Talk is cheap. I firmly believe in the players and the team but I also acknowledge that the results haven’t been good enough and that is my responsibility. So any criticism is absolutely fair and warranted. We have to take it, try to improve, and win. That is the job.”

There were signs of the crowd’s frustration with Potter when they responded angrily to Chelsea refusing to chase a second goal on the counterattack.

“We wanted to score the second goal but it was a game against one of the best teams in terms of high intensity in the Premier League,” Potter said. “If the game becomes Hawaii football, up and down, then it can be a challenge. The boys stuck at it and the crowd were great.”

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Javi Gracia felt that Leeds, who are a point above the bottom three, deserved more. “I am disappointed but after watching the attitude I can say I am proud,” he said.

“We can improve many things. In the first 30 minutes the opposition were better. But after that moment I think we grew. We created some chances. The team showed character.”

The Guardian