Graham Potter insists he feels more confident in his role than ever before after meeting one of Chelsea’s owners during a trip to California during the World Cup.
Potter spent a week on the west coast of the United States with his wife after seeing Chelsea go into the World Cup break on the back of three successive defeats – a run that has left them eight points adrift of the top four.
But while the former Brighton manager, who took over from Thomas Tuchel in September, admitted that he had not been the best company as he mulled over those losses, Potter revealed “a good chat” with co-owner Behdad Eghbali had only been encouraging.
“I’m even more confident, even more aware of the support I have now than I was three months ago when I took the job,” he said. “So that tells you something. It’s a credit to them and their support and how they have communicated with me – it’s been fantastic.
“We all know the pressure and the demands at this club but we have also got enough people who can see the perspective and where we are at to be able to say, ‘this is where we are, how can we improve?’”
Potter added: “When I was in California I met up with Behdad and had a good chat with him. Fantastic support. I’m really looking forward to the weeks and the months and the years ahead. We understand where we’re at at the moment and we understand the challenges ahead, but that’s where we are in the journey at the moment.
“I would like to have gone up and down California with a couple of wins but it wasn’t to be. So you have to reflect, take the pain and frustration and work out how can we go forward and make this situation better? That’s the job, that’s what I’ve been spending my time doing.”
Chelsea entertain Bournemouth on Tuesday before travelling to Nottingham Forest on New Year’s Day. Potter’s side then face Manchester City in back-to-back matches in the league and FA Cup, and their manager acknowledged that they will need to hit the ground running to make up the deficit in the race for Champions League qualification.
“It is going to be hard to bridge the gap, but the focus for us is on our performance, how we function and how we are playing,” said Potter. “That’s where we are at. If you don’t control that, if you don’t do better there, then you can talk all you want about the gap or what the others do, it doesn’t matter.
“We know that we can take the experience that we have, we can take all that learning, all those challenging periods that we had, and use them to say, ‘ok, how can we go forward, how can we play better?’ So that’s our focus.”