Speaking after the game, the Chelsea boss explained how James playing the full 90 minutes against West Ham and Borussia Dortmund was behind his call.
He also gave his verdict on taking David Datro Fofana off at half-time as Raheem Sterling returned from injury.
“With David, it was just to use Raheem really,” Potter told the club website.
“We wanted to use Raheem in the wide areas and that was the decision. It was a tricky one for David. I think he had one really good action, it wasn’t necessarily a reflection on him, more just tactically to use Raheem.
“With the others, there were no injuries, it was more just the turnaround of the games and the demand of the games, considering a few of them have had injuries previously.
“Certainly with Reece, he’d had two 90 minutes, which is more than we expected at the start of the week.
“So it was just a case of managing the load and managing the squad.”