Graham Potter admits he looks ‘a bit of a fool’ after Chelsea’s defeat to Brighton | Chelsea

Graham Potter admitted he ended up looking “a bit of a fool” after his return to Brighton ended in a humiliating 4-1 defeat for Chelsea.

While Potter said he had no reason to apologise after Brighton’s fans gave him a hostile reception at the Amex Stadium, he said his decision to use Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic as wing-backs had backfired. Chelsea were 3-0 down at half-time and Brighton, who targeted Pulisic and Sterling, could celebrate their first win under Roberto De Zerbi.

“The responsibility for those two wasn’t to defend against their wing-backs, but I understand that whenever you do something and it doesn’t work you look a bit of a fool,” said Potter, whose nine-match unbeaten run at Chelsea is over. “That is how it is. I have to accept that, deal with that, do better, and I’ll learn. That’s the process.”

The game was played in a hot atmosphere. Brighton’s fans booed Marc Cucurella, who joined Chelsea in the summer, and also jeered Potter and his backroom staff.

“Like I said before the game, I didn’t have any expectations,” Potter said. “I have nothing to say sorry for or apologise for. I did a good job, you can see the team is a good team. I took over when they were fourth from bottom in the Premier League and were probably the third-worst team.

“There is a lot of money raised in terms of player sales and a lot of good players on the pitch. I hope for their sake, the next managers do as good a job.”

Raheem Sterling competes for the ball with Brighton’s Pervis Estupiñán
Raheem Sterling, who was deployed in an unfamiliar wing-back role, competes for the ball with Brighton’s Pervis Estupiñán. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

Potter conceded his tactics were wrong. “As I said to the players, if you lose you have to look at it and if you’ve made a mistake or got things wrong, you have to analyse it and do better. That is part of our job, part of the process, and if we’ve got that wrong I have to take responsibility and do better.

“I’d rather look at it from that perspective. You have to congratulate Brighton, they did what they do well. We had some opportunities and the scoreline makes it feel a little bit worse than it was in terms of us having opportunities.”

De Zerbi ran on to the pitch when Brighton took an early lead. The Italian, who had not won in his first five games, said he was thinking about how the Russian invasion of Ukraine had forced him to quit his previous job at Shakhtar Donetsk this year. “We have been through eight really tough months,” the Italian said. “I had a great team Putin decided to take away from me. In that moment I found another team in Brighton. To find again a family and an atmosphere that lets you feel part of the environment is very nice. I have to be thankful to Brighton.”

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