Loftus-Cheek: Chelsea can’t accept mediocrity, we’ll rise to Borussia Dortmund challenge
Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek believes the players “owe” head coach Graham Potter a win for the way he has taken the brunt of the criticism for their bad form.
The Blues eased some of the pressure on Potter with a 1-0 win over Leeds on Saturday.
Before that result, Chelsea had won just once in 11 matches and Potter has taken most of the blame from supporters.
Loftus-Cheek says Potter has sheltered the players from criticism and they were happy to give something back to their manager.
“We definitely owe it to the manager. He is obviously a fantastic manager, no can argue against that after what he has done with Brighton and other things.
“It is up to us as well. We have massive respect for the manager, the way he has been sitting in front of the media with us in this poor form. And he has stuck up for us players.
“So we owe it to the manager to perform as best we can on the pitch and turn things around.”
Chelsea now hope the Leeds win can kickstart their season, ahead of Tuesday’s crunch Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund.
The Blues are 1-0 down from the first leg but Loftus-Cheek believes back-to-back win for the first time since October could give them confidence to finish the season strongly.
Loftus-Cheek said: “A team like Chelsea, we can’t accept mediocrity. We understand we have been mediocre in this recent run, and we are not just accepting it.
“It might look like that from the outside, but that is not the case. We are hurting from the losses and the draws, because it is not in us as Chelsea players and we are fighting our hardest to turn it around.
“It is not nice to hear all the criticism coming our way at Chelsea to the manager, to the players. We had the poor run, so of course you are going to get that.
“It was important [to win] and we felt like we owed it to the fans at Stamford Bridge.
“We have obviously had a poor run of form and we needed to turn it around. And we came into this game thinking we have to win. For ourselves, and for the fans.
“We may look back at this win as a turning point in weeks to come. You never know. We have got this win, and then if we win against Dortmund and then keep winning…
“We have the quality and the players and the manager to do that. We have just had a poor run of form. We don’t expect to stay in that poor run of form, but to stick together and come through it.”
Loftus-Cheek added: “We have a big game coming up against Dortmund here this week, and we expect to rise to that challenge. Anything can happen in the Champions League and we definitely think we can win on Tuesday.”