Potter ‘accepts the criticism’ after Chelsea defeat

Graham Potter stood by his team selection after Chelsea’s 2-0 home defeat against Aston Villa.

The result left the Blues 11th in the Premier League table and increased the pressure on head coach Potter, who was jeered by angry fans after the final whistle.

Somewhat surprisingly, he deployed Reece James and Marc Cucurella, who usually operate as full-backs, in a back three and left central defender Trevoh Chalobah on the bench.

The much criticised Cucurella was at fault for Villa’s opening goal as he was involved in a mix-up with Kalidou Koulibaly, enabling Ollie Watkins to nip in and score.

With Chelsea trying to find a way back into the game, Potter also opted not to send on the fit-again Mason Mount.

“We wanted to attack. We wanted to use Marc and Reece and they can construct attacks well,” Potter said.

“I thought we got into some good opportunities from an attacking perspective.

“But it’s an error for the first goal and when there’s an error there’s always something you can do better.

“With Mason, I just felt we were there in the game, had made some attacking subs and wanted to see where it all landed.

“Mason’s coming back and has only had a couple of days’ training.”

An upturn in results before the international break appeared to give Potter some breathing space, but the frustration of the home fans was clear as their team slumped to defeat.

“We feel the pain of the supporters,” said Potter.

“I understand that when you lose at home the emotion of the game is such that people are going to be disappointed and frustrated and angry.

“Where we are in the league table, no-one’s happy with. So whatever criticism comes I have to accept.”