Graham Potter says he has ‘nothing to apologise or say sorry for’ after being booed by Brighton fans on his return to the AMEX… as he insists he won’t throw his Chelsea players ‘under the bus’ but admits 4-1 defeat was ‘painful’
- Brighton thrashed Chelsea 4-1 at the Amex on Graham Potter’s return to the club
- The former Seagulls boss was booed by fans on a painful afternoon for his side
- Brighton’s win was the first for new boss Roberto De Zerbi since replacing Potter
Graham Potter has claimed he has ‘nothing to apologise for’ after the Chelsea boss was booed by Brighton fans during Saturday’s game at the Amex.
Chelsea were thrashed 4-1 by the Seagulls in what was Potter’s first defeat since taking over as Blues boss last month.
Goals from Leandro Trossard and Pascal Gross, along with two own goals from Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Trevoh Chalobah condemnded the visitors to the loss, with Kai Havertz hitting one back for the Blues.
Graham Potter returned to Brighton for the first time on Saturday in Chelsea’s 4-1 defeat
Potter’s former side put in a superb performance to half the progres of his new team
Speaking after the game which marked his return to his former club, the Chelsea boss hit back when asked whether the negative reception he received from the home fans was justified.
Potter said: ‘I have nothing to apologise or say sorry for. I think I did a good job at the club and left it in a good place but people are entitled to their opinions.
‘It’s part of the process. You have to suffer and feel pain in order to grow and get better. Nobody said we were the finished article. We have to take the pain today and learn from it.’
Despite the heavy defeat, Potter refused to throw his Chelsea stars ‘under the bus’.
‘It’s the Premier League, so everywhere is difficult,’ said Potter. ‘Brighton are a good side, I know that and with the crowd and the atmosphere they created, they put you under pressure.
‘We made a couple of unforced errors to start everything off but that can happen.
‘I’m not going to throw the players under the bus at all because they’ve been brilliant for us – they’ve given everything for me.
‘I have to take responsibility and try to find a way for us to do better.’
Potter was booed by Brighton fans on his return but insisted he ‘had nothing to apologise for’
Potter managed Brighton for just over three years after arriving in May 2019, leading the Seagulls to 15th, 16th and 9th during his tenure – last season’s 9th placed finish was the club’s highest-ever in the top flight.
He received jeers – and a smattering of applause – when he stepped off the team coach, while there were further boos when he emerged from the tunnel.
Brighton fed off their fans’ hostile energy and quickly took control of the contest during a blistering start in which chants of “Potter, what’s the score?” grew louder, followed by playful questioning of his job security.
He added: ‘Of course the scoreline and the defeat is a painful one. We didn’t really recover.
It was a painful defeat for Chelsea as they went 3-0 down inside the first half of the game
‘Once the crowd were so engaged it was a difficult one for us. The scoreline was painful. Brighton played a good game, especially in the first half.’
However, despite defeat, he was full of praise for his former team and their fans.
He said: ‘They played well, the atmosphere was really intense here. We didn’t necessarily match that level of intensity.
‘Brighton were dangerous. We were pushing and pushing and throwing players on, but Brighton deserved it. You have to say congratulations to them.
‘Brighton were better at what they did, so we have to take that as a lesson – even though that’s a painful one for us.
‘The intensity (from Brighton) was there and we suffered a little bit. The players are an honest bunch – we win and lose together – so we have to take stock and move forward.’
Brighton’s victory was the first for Potter’s replacement Roberto De Zerbi since taking over
The victory was the first for Seagulls boss Roberto De Zerbi since replacing Potter and the Italian was delighted to get the three points which moves his side up to eighth.
‘I am very happy for the players, for the club and the people working with our team and these great fans,’ he said post-match.
‘They were the best player on the pitch. They helped us a lot and I am very happy.
‘In the first 20-25 minutes we were fantastic. We played like men. We prepared the team with one-to-ones. All players were fantastic.
‘I am sorry for the Chelsea goal because in the second half we suffered a stupid goal and made a mistake.
‘They changed their tactical position and we weren’t ready to change something for us. But I’m happy because 4-1 against Chelsea is an amazing result.’