Graham Potter previewed Chelsea’s clash against Wolves in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge as his side look to record their third successive victory in all competitions
Wesley is not as bad as we thought so that’s good, after the game of course we were concerned. It will be a few weeks I think but considerably better than it could be but we’ll miss him for a few weeks.
He could play again before the World Cup?
Yeah, it’s a possibility. Depends how his rehab goes and don’t want to put too much of a timescale on it, but there’s a chance of that.
What’s the latest on N’Golo Kante?
He’s doing more and more integration with the team. Still not ready for the weekend but getting closer.
A month since Thomas Tuchel was sacked, on track for the top four?
I think we’ve made a little bit of progress in terms of from the first day to now, as you expect and hope. There’s a long way to go. We have to focus on the next month as simple as it is with the incredible amount of games we have to play. Rather than think too much at the end of the season, just focus on the next game.
Managerless Wolves can be a benefit or go against a team?
It’s one of those things, I have no idea. My focus is on us on making sure we’re ready to play. We haven’t got a lot of time to prepare. You can’t control the opposition’s situation. You see the games in the Premier League, the margins are so small. They’ve been in games that they’ve narrowly lost. Historically it’s a challenge playing Wolves, we have to be recovered and ready and positive and looking forward to the match.
Potentially a return for Diego Costa, still have to fear him?
I’ve got a respect for him, for his career, what he’s achieve. He’s a Wolves player and he’s going to come and be ready to play. Everyone at this club knows how good he’s been and I’ve followed his career from afar and have huge respect for him and what he’s achieved as a player. Like I said, lots of talented players at Wolves, especially the forward line. A lot of attacking players there that can hurt you, so we have to be ready.
Didn’t leave in the best way but did a lot for the club. Expect him to get a good reception?
Yeah, I’m not sure, I hope so. Always for players who’ve achieved something with the club you hope that. It’s not for me to decide. I’m focusing on the team we have and the support the other night was fantastic, so we’re hopefully building on that.
Used two formations already, why did you use three at the back on Wednesday and is that the formation going forward?
You always consider the opponent, you consider the players that we have. We had an injury, we lost Marc [Cucurella] through illness from Salzburg to Crystal Palace. One or two other things happening. Sometimes that can change how you go and approach a game. I think it’s important to have a couple of options because the personnel won’t be the same for the next 10 or 11 games before the World Cup break. It’s a really intense period where it’s important to have some options. I think we have to manage the balance between change and consistency. If things happen to be inconsistent always it can be destabilising.
You mention Marc, is he in contention to start tomorrow?
Yeah, fully recovered. He needed the time. He was on the bench against Milan so he’s had more time for recovery, so he’ll be involved tomorrow.
How big of a step forward since Salzburg?
I was thinking before the game it’s quite a surreal situation. It’s very rare your first game is a Champions League match and you haven’t got that much information in terms of how much you know about the team, you know our team. Three or four weeks on you just know more. The guys have had more interaction, more opportunities to get to know them better. I think that was a result of that but it’s only a small step, we want to keep moving forward and I’m so far happy with the progress that the team has made.
Disappointed to lose Fofana but how pleased with Trevoh Chalobah?
Really pleased. Probably epitomises the group. I think everyone is ready to come in, ready to play and ready to help. Trevoh has been really professional, hardworking in training and his level has been high and it’s probably a reward of that behaviour that he played well.
Goals an issue for Wolves, and goals have been a problem for Chelsea centre-forwards. What have you done to help Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang score goals?
I don’t know whether I’ve done anything specifically, it’s more we’ve just been working with the whole group and laying the foundations in terms of how we want to be. The better the team functions, the more whoever is in the forward line has a better chance of playing well and doing what he is there to do, which is to score. It’s not the only thing he has to do and I think that goes a lot unnoticed because he does a lot of work for the team. We’re happy for him, happy he’s scoring and long may that continue.
Haaland’s only role to score?
Obviously the two teams are at different stages of development and everyone is different in terms of how they play. Pierre is working really well for the team and it’s nice that he’s scored a couple of goals.
Infuriating to not have Kante?
It is what it is. There’s nothing we can do, the injury happened and now it’s about trying to get him back fit and get him ready as we can so he can sustain a period of play. He’s been a bit in and out with injuries over a period of time, so we have to make sure when he’s back, he’s back for good. Strong and enjoying his football. There’s no frustration, just something we have to deal with.
Half an eye on Milan when picking the team to face Wolves?
We have to pick the team to win the game against Wolves, we have to make sure everyone is recovered properly and pick the players we think will give us the best chance to win.
Knee strain for Fofana?
Seems like Kante won’t be used until absolutely ready, does his injury profile play into that?
I think it does, yeah. The welfare of the player is important, I don’t want to take a risk with that. I understand you have to take some decisions but from my perspective I want to make sure a player is safe, ready, ready to play consistently over a period of time. That’s the best way to build a relationship with them and to get them back stronger, enjoying their football.