Mateo Kovačić not ready to return while Raheem Sterling suffers ‘a little setback’

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Chelsea’s injury situation seems to be improving, but we will not be seeing any tangible signs of that this weekend as we take on relegation-battling West Ham, with the likes of Mateo Kovačić, Denis Zakaria, and Wesley Fofana still out, and now Raheem Sterling going back on the injury list as well after a minor setback.

“Players are getting closer and closer. Wesley has been training with the team, Denis Zakaria has been training with the team. We’ve had a little setback with Raheem, he had a little kick in training on the side of his knee, so we’re assessing him and he is doubtful for tomorrow. Mateo has trained with the team but it’s too soon for him. But we’ve got some options.”

It’s not quite clear what options Graham Potter’s referencing here, especially in a midfield that has Enzo Fernández and ... Enzo Fernández. And Enzo’s good, but he’s no prime Kanté in that he would count for two.

We do get João Félix back from his three-match suspension. He certainly did make a big difference in his one and only appearance so far for the club — apparently without understanding “what we’re trying to do” — so hopefully he can still make a similar impact (without a red card this time please) while understanding whatever “what we’re trying to do” may be.

“It’s great and we all saw the impact he had in his 60 minutes before the red card. You can see his quality, see it every day. He is a player who can make a difference for us but we have to help him get integrated into the team, for him to understand what we’re trying to do. But the signs are very positive.”

And what we’re trying to do is win games improve ... or at least win games improve eventually. Timescales are for the common man. For higher dimensional beings, time is but a mountain to climb.

“There will be lots of talk around pressure and time. If I’d had a month of time for every time I’ve been asked that question, I’d be here for about 10 years. It’s just the nature of it. That’s how it is.

“Of course [there is a finite time]. I’m not stupid. At the end of the day if results aren’t what this club should get then I understand and if I’m the reason for it, then that’s the job. In the meantime, I will go through the process of working with players, helping them improve, come together.

“It’s a complicated situation at the moment but I’m really excited for it. I have to be honest. I’m really looking forward to it, really looking forward to the challenge that awaits us. But again, I don’t worry too much about the absolute timescale of it all.”

-Graham Potter; source: Football.London

Must be nice to have “the toughest job” yet not have to worry about deadlines and such.

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