London: Chelsea coach Graham Potter said his side were suffering before the Premier League paused for the World Cup, but that the break can enable the players to have the reset they need.
After making an impressive start to life as Chelsea manager having succeeded Thomas Tuchel in September, Potter’s side have lost five of their last six in all competitions, including their last three league games.
Such form means Chelsea are eighth in the standings ahead of the visit of Bournemouth to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, eight points behind the top four.
Suffering a bit
“I think you have to go through moments sometimes - if you are honest we were suffering a little bit before the break in terms of the results weren’t what we wanted, performances weren’t so good either,” Potter told a news conference on Friday.
“Sometimes as a team you go through these periods. We went through one there and I could offer lots of explanations as to why but sometimes you have to accept they happen and you have to get through them and a break can help.
“Everyone can come back and reset and all the learning that has happened in that really intense period, you can consolidate and say ‘how do we go forward’ and that’s been really beneficial.” Potters’ players who did take part in the World Cup have been given an extended break ahead of the Premier League’s return, putting the Chelsea boss in unchartered territory.
“We’ve used the time as best as we can in the first few days, we had four players to work with so that brings its problems. It would have been ideal if we could play Bournemouth in a five-a-side,” he added.
“It’s not easy to get the balance right (with returning players), we’re all learning because it’s never happened before.
“You have to constantly evaluate and assess the players because you might get two or three months down the line and think you need to do something to refresh because we don’t know the long-term effects of the World Cup. We’re confident we can prepare normally for the games coming up.” Potter added defender Wesley Fofona has picked up another injury and will be missing for another few weeks, but said England full back Reece James, who missed the World Cup with a knee problem, is back in training.