Chelsea hit with new triple fitness blow just as Graham Potter feels pressure begin to lift
raham Potter admits that some of the pressure has lifted off him but says Chelsea have several new injury doubts ahead of their trip to Leicester.
The Blues have won back-to-back games for the first time since October after a narrow Premier League victory over Leeds last weekend was followed by a crucial midweek defeat of Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League last-16.
With Chelsea in the hat for the quarter-finals of Europe’s elite club competition, Potter has had some respite as talk around his future in west London is put on hold.
He said: “Has the weight been lifted off my shoulders? Yes, in some way. In some way but it is not something I get too bogged down with.
“It’s always nice to win. It is as simple as that. Everything boils down to that and everything feels like you are taking a step forward.
Pressure lifting: Graham Potter says successive Chelsea wins have been a weight off his shoulders
“I am not getting carried away. It is just two wins and we have to focus on Leicester. The boys have been in a good place, with good spirit.
“The boys have stuck together in bad times and there’s a lot to say about that. We have to start again now against Leicester.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea have seen Reece James, Raheem Sterling and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all join Thiago Silva, N’Golo Kante, Mason Mount, Armando Broja and Edouard Mendy on a sizeable absentee list, while captain Cesar Azpilicueta’s status after concussion remains unconfirmed.
“Reece has been ill, he hasn’t trained today, so he won’t make the game,” Potter said. “Raheem has a feeling in his hamstring, more tight than anything, so he’s a doubt.
“Aubameyang has a slight problem with his back, so he won’t make it. Apart from that, everyone is okay.”
Potter was then pressed on whether Kante might return against Leicester.
“No, he won’t,” he said. “He still needs more time. We’re aiming maybe for Everton but not tomorrow.”
On Mount’s abdominal injury, Potter added: “He probably needs a little bit more time. He is happy around the place and wants to help the team, which is normal with Mason. He wants the team to win, be injury free, and play football.”