Graham Potter promises to use Chelsea squad
Graham Potter wants to take full advantage of the depth in Chelsea’s squad and believes honesty in explaining his selections is key to keeping all of his stars happy.
Chelsea overtook managerless Wolves 3-0 at Stamford Bridge to finish fourth in the Premier League after making seven changes from Wednesday’s 3-0 win over AC Milan.
Kai Havertz, Christian Pulisic and Armando Broja found the net as the Blues coped comfortably without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Raheem Sterling and Thiago Silva.
Reece James, Ben Chilwell and Mateo Kovacic were on the bench and the Blues were also without recovering N’Golo Kante and injured Wesley Fofana.
When asked how he could keep such a deep and talented team, Potter replied: “My experience of professional footballers at any level is that they want to play football; so you have to respect that,” Potter said.
“But at the same time, part of the deal with this club like this is that there is a lot of competition.
“You have to fight, but you have to help the team, be ready to play your part.
“All you can do is be honest, be clear and be willing to admit that you’re not always right, but we do it with good intentions.
“It is important that we have a strong group, a strong collective. It’s thanks to the players because there is a good group here, I can’t complain.
“I don’t think we can do it with just 11 players, I don’t think it’s fair to play against 11 players until they fall and get injured.
“As long as there are reasons, it’s about communicating them and someone has to make the decisions. Everything went well today and it’s a credit to the players.
“When you play three games a week, you have to make decisions about new players, when players are determined and desperate to play.”
Albanian striker Broja scored his first senior goal for Chelsea, hanging on to a clever pass from fellow substitute Kovacic before heading home.
Potter hailed the former Southampton loanee and blues academy graduate for taking his chance to shine.
“It was a big goal for him and he had an impact off the bench,” Potter said.
“He has to be patient, but he works hard in training. Academy players are essential; they bring an understanding of the club, the culture, the requirements, the environmental requirements.
“They had a fantastic upbringing with the academy, they are good people and good footballers. Our job now is to help them maximize their potential.
Former Chelsea star Diego Costa fought hard but couldn’t force a breakthrough for Wolves on his return to Stamford Bridge.
The 34-year-old received a rousing reception from Blues fans when he was substituted in the second half, with even five Chelsea supporters in the Matthew Harding Stand leaving the pitch.
Wolves caretaker manager Steve Davis has insisted Costa remains fully committed to his new Premier League challenge.
“His commitment is unquestionable after talking to him,” Davis said.
“We spoke to him through an interpreter. We see on the training ground, working with him every day that he is committed, that he wants to do well.
“I haven’t seen it (the high-five), so I don’t know. I wasn’t too sure what he was doing but I’m not too worried.
“The thing is he’s a legend here so I get him after a result of this nature. So I haven’t seen him so I can’t really comment more than that.