Graham Potter fires warning shot to Chelsea squad in bid to catch Manchester City

 (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
(Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Graham Potter has warned his Chelsea squad that he will not hesitate to instil a cultural change in the club’s bid to compete with Manchester City.

The 47-year-old gave a direct message to his side ahead of an away trip to face Pep Guardiola’s league champions in the Carabao Cup third round on Wednesday night.

After back-to-back league defeats, however, new doubts are being cast on both Potter and the new Boehly-Clearlake regime.

Potter thinks that deficiencies remain from the previous regime and a turbulent summer - urging those around the club to realise it will take time and effort to catch the likes of City.

“It’s not going to be a straight line up, there’ll be some hard times,” Potter told reporters at Cobham. “The weekend was a hard one, the weekend before was, so that gives us a chance to learn and improve.

“My feeling with the players is that, and I think there’s a blame culture anyway in football generally, it’s easier to blame me or the manager because that’s an easier solution.

“It’s harder to say, okay, is it something to do with culture? Is it something to do with strategies? Is it something to do with values? Is there something to do with the idea [that’s wrong]?

“That’s a bit more complicated and then you have to think a bit more for that, it’s not so easy as to think you can just blame that guy and change it over. I’m talking generally there.”

It’s not all doom and gloom for Potter who is excited about the challeneg ahead.

 (PA)
(PA)

He said: “If I wanted a nice easy life, I could have quite easily stayed working, at Brighton, in the Premier League, signed a new contract and been absolutely okay.

“I wouldn’t have had too many questions about myself or pressure or sacking or anything like that. But the reason to come here, one of the reasons to come here - one of many - was that it’s a fantastic football club, potentially one of the best in the world and that can compete for any major trophy.

“But I think we all know that we’re not at that point now and we haven’t been for two or three or four years. That is the reality when you look at the league table and the points difference between the top two and Chelsea.

“As I said, the exciting thing is, we’re in this process. We’ve done quite well and the players have responded really well.

“You have to go through a bit of pain to get to that point. It’d be wrong of me to say anything else. There’s no shortcut to it, in my experience.”