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Graham Potter vows to help smooth impact of Chelsea transition under new owners

Graham Potter, pictured, will help smooth Chelsea’s hectic transition under new owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali (Steven Paston/PA)
Graham Potter, pictured, will help smooth Chelsea’s hectic transition under new owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali (Steven Paston/PA)

Graham Potter has pledged to help smooth the impact of Chelsea’s rapid transition under new owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali.

New manager Potter will oversee his first Premier League game at the Blues helm in Saturday’s trip to Crystal Palace, some 23 days after his appointment.

Chelsea’s new owners Boehly and Eghbali have set a relentless pace in their sweeping Stamford Bridge overhaul, that spans far beyond the coaching ranks.

Chelsea v Leicester City – Premier League – Stamford Bridge
Todd Boehly, right, has already overseen sweeping changes as Chelsea owner (Adam Davy/PA)

The Blues will continue the hunt for sporting and technical directors to bridge the gap between training ground and boardroom, while a raft of exits has already been seen in the medical ranks.

Potter’s calming authority should prove a stabilising influence amid a state of Stamford Bridge flux, and the 47-year-old admitted he will play his part in helping ease through the widespread change.

“I think the first thing to say is change is good and it’s bad and it’s challenging; it’s all those things,” said Potter.

“It’s how you deal with it, it’s how you work with it.

“So I think it’s well documented what’s happened, in terms of ownership, new coach, different people.

“That’s part of life sometimes, it’s just how we manage it.

“In terms of the challenge, maybe a bit more than a short-term challenge, it’s how you align the resources that you have, it’s how you align the football idea with everything you’ve got, to be successful.”

Chelsea’s new owners unseated 2021 Champions League-winning coach Thomas Tuchel at the end of a 100-day review in their Stamford Bridge tenure.

Potter was headhunted as a replacement, valued not just for his upwardly mobile on-field career but also for his strong communication off the field.

Boehly and Eghbali have the long term firmly in mind with Potter, and are understood not to consider a top-four league finish this term as crucial to the new boss’ west London future.

Potter knows the importance of steering a club of Chelsea’s size to Champions League football, but insisted he will set aside concerns regarding outside perception in a bid to focus on the job in hand.

“The past or resources or history doesn’t guarantee you anything in this league,” said Potter.

“You can see already, there’s lots of clubs that have spent a lot of money and haven’t achieved things that maybe they wanted to.

“So it’s about getting everything lined up, everyone working together and strategy clear.

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur – Premier League – Stamford Bridge
N’Golo Kante will miss Chelsea’s Premier League trip to Crystal Palace (John Walton/PA)

“Whether things are vital, vital sounds a bit life and death, a bit dramatic to be honest. But I understand the question, it is what it is.

“I can’t control people’s perception of what we’re going to do or not, I can’t control what people think about what we’re going to do in May or June.

“I can just focus on the next match and the next training session and try to improve the team.”

Chelsea will be without both N’Golo Kante and Edouard Mendy for the Selhurst Park trip, with both still recuperating from injury concerns.

Kante is back in training but not quite ready to feature after hamstring trouble, while Mendy has been shaking off a knee issue.

Marc Cucurella and Carney Chukwuemeka will also miss the Palace clash through illness.