Potter on the tactical challenge of coping without an injured trio | News | Official site


Following Friday’s announcement that Reece James will see a specialist this weekend to assess the knee injury suffered in Milan, Graham Potter discussed how he plans to adjust things tactically while the defender is sidelined.

James limped off at the San Siro shortly after half-time and Potter revealed in his pre-match press conference ahead of our Sunday clash with Aston Villa that the 22-year-old would be assessed on the discomfort he feels.

The Chelsea head coach went on to explain how the group would cope with the absence of James, as well as N’Golo Kante and Wesley Fofana.

It would be a mistake on my part to say that we are not going to miss players like Reece and N’Golo,’ he said. “It’s normal, and Wesley Fofana too, but it’s the team’s job and it’s my challenge to find a different solution.”

“We don’t have another Reece James or another N’Golo Kante, so you have to find another way to work within the team. Tactically it’s a challenge, but we’re ready for it. up and we need to find those solutions.

Despite initial optimism that James’ injury wasn’t too serious, the past few days have left the winger still feeling pain and Potter insisted it was a typical reaction for players.

“I think it’s pretty normal that as soon as there’s a bit of discomfort a day or two after that you get it checked out properly, that’s what we’ll do,” he explained.

“It normally takes 24 or 48 hours to settle. He’s been in fantastic shape for us. I really enjoyed working with him and really enjoyed the way he played, so I’m crossing my fingers for good news.

“He’s a player with world-class attributes and the way he defended against [Wilfried] Zaha and cons [Rafael] Leao in both games against Milan is at a high level, plus he can still contribute in the attacking phase. I thought the first half, especially the other night, he was amazing, he and Mason on the right side did really well.

Potter also commented on recent published research which showed Chelsea had the most injured players in the 2021/22 season, insisting work was underway to improve that record.

“I don’t think you should blame it all on luck,” he added.

“We have to look and see what we can do better.

“I’ve only been here a few weeks so I don’t fully have the answers, but clearly we still want to try to improve and that’s one area we can probably improve in.”


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