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Potter denies ‘conspiracy’ as manager slow to appear after Southampton defeat

Potter denies ‘conspiracy’ as manager slow to appear after Southampton defeat


Graham Potter said there was “no conspiracy” in the one-hour delay for his press conference after Chelsea’s loss to Southampton at home in the Premier League.

James Ward-Prowse scored a trademark free-kick strike from distance to continue Chelsea’s woeful form since the start of the season, something that has not been improved since Thomas Tuchel’s exit as he was replaced by the former Brighton man.

Chelsea spent big, once again, in Todd Boehly’s first transfer window with his new manager, but so far the new signings are yet to make a meaningful difference, and the side are 10 points off the Champions League spots.

Speaking after the game, he addressed the long delay between the end of the match and his appearance in front of the press, with some speculation he had already lost his job.

“No conspiracy,” he answered. “I can’t give you that. There is a lot of media and my colleague did the media before me. I always speak to you guys. When you lose 1-0 to Southampton, it isn’t good enough with the results we’ve had. First half is as much my responsibility as anybody.”

Potter accepted the criticism coming his way for the poor results, including Saturday’s loss, and thinks the influx of new players, plus Champions League obligations, played their part in the team’s struggles.

He said: “After a 1-0 defeat at home, any criticism you get is understandable. We’ve had a tough period and are integrating young players into the Premier League. When results don’t go your way it’s tough.

“I’m not arrogant enough to say that their opinion isn’t worth articulating. My job is to help the team and work through a team period. The truth is we took a step back with our performance in the first half. Our response in the second half was good, but it wasn’t enough.

“Returning from the Champions League, we had to make some changes, we lost a bit of fluidity and cohesion. Southampton mixed the game well but our performance wasn’t what we wanted in the first half and I take as much responsibility in that. Second half was good and we deserved a goal, but when you don’t, it’s obviously difficult.”

Potter also gave an update on defender Cesar Azpilicueta, who was taken to hospital after suffering a head injury.

“He’s in hospital,” he said. “He is conscious and speaking to his wife. Hopefully he is in the best place and we’re monitoring. We need to take all the precautions we need to take now.”

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