Graham Potter insists Chelsea showed ‘lots of positives’ in RB Salzburg draw despite more dropped points

Graham Potter insists Chelsea showed ‘lots of positives’ in RB Salzburg draw despite more dropped points

Graham Potter remained upbeat despite Chelsea having to settle for a 1-1 draw against RB Salzburg at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues made a quick start in their first match under the new manager, though had to wait until early in the second-half to take the lead as Raheem Sterling curled a low finish into the far corner.

For all of Chelsea’s possession and bright moments they were unable to find the second goal that would have likely finished the match off and it proved costly when Noah Okafor struck for the sixth match in a row to equalise.

Hakim Ziyech and Reece James were among those to go close late on, while Armando Broja blazed over deep into stoppage-time as familiar shortcomings in front of goal appeared once again for the Blues.

Potter and his side now have to wait for more than two weeks until they are in action again, with this weekend’s postponed match against Liverpool followed by the international break. The Chelsea boss was full of praise for his players despite the frustrating result.

“There is a nice spirit in the group but they are disappointed because results haven’t gone as well as they’d like which is normal and you can feel that disappointment and frustration,” Potter said.

“But it’s my job to help them get the results they want, that we all want. Today is not the best start in terms of points for us but in terms of how we acted on the pitch as a group, lots of positives.”

He added: “They gave everything. We’ve only got a point and we’re disappointed with that but I was very proud of how they acted today.

“It’s not been easy for them either with the change of coach and everything that comes with that, but their response has been brilliant. They’ve acted really, really well: professional, honest, responsible.”

The draw leaves Chelsea at the bottom of Group E, with just a single point from their opening two group-stage matches.

AC Milan lead the way with four points and the Blues face them home and away in their next two European matches, after the upcoming international break.

Those results look set to decide Chelsea’s Champions League fate this season, but despite that pressure Potter wants his players to embrace the challenge ahead of Milan’s arrival at Stamford Bridge on October 5.

“We can’t lie, it’s not the position we want to be in but we have to respond, it’s as simple as that,” Potter said.

“It’s going to be a tough group I think but there is enough quality in the team and squad that we can respond and we have to look forward to those two games.”