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Potter confident of ‘brilliant’ start at Chelsea but will be without Édouard Mendy, N’Golo Kanté against RB Salzburg

Starting here


New Chelsea head coach Graham Potter may have gotten a few extra days to settle in and get familiar with his new players thanks to an unexpected break in the schedule over the weekend, and he may have avoided having to face Liverpool next weekend as well, but that just puts even more pressure on an already important match tomorrow night. Not only should Chelsea be expected to beat RB Salzburg on any given day, we also need these three points to make our Champions League group situation more manageable after our shock 1-0 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb last week.

It’s not the most ideal way to start a managerial stint, but Potter’s confident that he can handle the pressure and that it will be a brilliant night either way — though of course it would be a bit less brilliant if we don’t collect all three points.

“Off the top of my head, I don’t think I have [been to a Champions League game] so it’s a good time and be in the dugout. Why not?”

“Wherever we start, it would be a heck of an introduction. With respect to everything that has happened at this club, with the demands of this club, with where we are in terms of how we’re competing and how we want to achieve, wherever we start is going to be brilliant, and why not start here?”

You do have to start somewhere, after all, so might as well jump in with both feet, right?

Much like his predecessor often had to, Potter will have to do so without N’Golo Kanté to help hold his head above water however, and first-choice (?) goalkeeper Édouard “Eddie(?)” Mendy also remains out with a knee problem.

“Eddie will miss the game, so will NG. Apart from that everybody is fit. Eddie has responded well, but his knee has bothered him for a bit. I don’t think it’ll be long, but we need to give him some time.”

Chelsea Training and Press Conference - Tuesday September 13th Photo by Steven Paston/PA Images via Getty Images

Well, time is certainly something we have in relative abundance at the moment, though time is certainly a relative thing in football — even more so than in the real world. One day you can be at the start of a long-term project, the next day you can be under pressure and sacked ruthlessly.

“This is a tragic world”, to overdramatize with Daemon Targaryen’s words, this football world of ours, at least in sporting terms. Winning in the only currency that counts at the end of the day, and that may be a harsh lesson for Potter that he will have to learn very, very quickly.

“We need to compete here. That’s how it is. We have to compete, and as I said earlier, I have respect for the Premier League for the Champions League for the competitions we are in, but we’re Chelsea. There are no guarantees.

“Resources alone aren’t enough, as we know. It’s about connecting with our supporters, about them recognising their team and what we’re trying to do, working every day at Cobham, getting that understanding of how we want to play football, but success is to see improvement and be competing to win.”

-Graham Potter; source: Football.London

Football is the game, winning is our aim.

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