Chelsea must suffer ‘pain’ to progress, warns Graham Potter after Brighton humbling

Chelsea must suffer ‘pain’ to progress, warns Graham Potter after Brighton humbling

Graham Potter believes that Chelsea have to suffer “pain” before they can become the team that they want to be.

It follows the Blues's shock 4-1 defeat away at Potter's former club Brighton which ended a nine-game unbeaten run under the new manager.

Having seen his side blown away, particularly in the first half, Potter was typically measured as he warned supporters that real progress will take time.

“It’s a case of analysing the game, being calm, being fair," Potter told reporters at the Amex Stadium. “It’s not about the players necessarily. It’s about all of us, it’s collective, including myself. How we can do better.

“It’s not a disgrace to lose here. You can see that the opponent was very motivated. And they have got some really good players, with quality. We got off to a really bad start.

“But you have to have that sometimes if you want to make progress. If you think that the line is going to go straight up, it’s impossible.

“That team you saw out there for Brighton wasn’t the team that was there three years ago. There is a process of pain that you have to go through and you have to keep trying to improve.

“Unless there is another way. Whenever you are trying to learn or master something, get better, you need to sometimes have a step back, have a bad spell or suffer to grow and get better.”

He added: “It’s only my view but I am responsible as much as the players. Sometimes you get things wrong tactically.

“I am okay to say that because ultimately if you want to be a role model for people trying their best and trying to improve you need to be that way yourself. It would be easy for me to blame the players after a game but it isn’t as straightforward as that.”

Potter was given time to improve his former team over more than three years in charge on the south coast. Owner Tony Bloom even opted to renew Potter's contract with the team just five points above the relegation zone which proved a masterstroke, as they rallied to record their best-ever Premier League finish last season.

The 47-year-old will hope for the same patience from the new Boehly-Clearlake regime and explained that other factors also led to such a poor display on Saturday afternoon.

“It’s a fact we are missing players," he added. “If you do the maths on those players there are a lot of key players there and a lot of talent. But at the end of the day that is not an excuse, it is not the reason why we lost.

“I have to do better, we have to do better. We will. People want a simple answer and I get that. But it’s quite complex. There are lots of things involved and I have to start with myself and think about how can I do better?

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

A dead-rubber Champions League match in midweek will give Potter a chance to rest players ahead of three difficult games against Arsenal, Manchester City and Newcastle before the break for the winter World Cup in Qatar.

His side will have to improve for those three key games against some of England's best teams but, having been jeered throughout the match against his former club, Potter may wait until the emotion subsides before reviewing the footage of the match.

“I might have to give this one a bit of time to be honest because emotionally it’s tough,” he concluded. “So you have to make sure you have a clear head when you analyse it.

“But I know the quality of the team we were playing against and the atmosphere. I never saw it like that in the three and a half years I was here. There was a motivated team and club and that is okay.”