Chelsea boss Graham Potter backed by Joao Felix: The fault is on all of us | Football News

Joao Felix backs Graham Potter: “The coach is with us and we are with the coach – the situation will change for sure”; Chelsea face Borussia Dortmund in the crucial second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday

Joao Felix insists under-pressure Graham Potter still has the backing of the Chelsea players.

Chelsea will look to ease the burden on head coach Potter by erasing a 1-0 deficit in the crucial second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against in-form Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday.

The Champions League remains the club’s only realistic chance of saving their season, with the club already out of both domestic cups and lying 10th in the Premier League despite a 1-0 win over Leeds on Saturday – only their second victory in 12 matches.

“The fault is on us and on the coach, but not only for the players or the coach to take all the fault, it’s between us all,” said Felix, who joined Chelsea on loan from Atletico Madrid in January.

“We just have to be together and we are.

“The coach is with us and we are with the coach. The situation will change for sure.”

Chelsea fans were left frustrated after the Blues failed to win for six games in a row after spending £315m in the January transfer window – more than Bundesliga, LaLiga, Serie A and Ligue 1 clubs combined.

“Fans are always entitled to air their views and they’ve been suffering like the rest of us in terms of the results we’ve had. The reception and support we had was fantastic,” Potter told reporters on Monday ahead of the second leg.

Potter is remaining positive as his side look to over turn a 1-0 deficit in the Champions League against Borussia Dortmund and dismisses the idea that defeat will mean season over

“They know the importance of the game tomorrow (Tuesday) night. They want the team to go through, to progress, and they know how important they are.

“We want to make sure it’s tough for Dortmund away from home in the Champions League and we need our supporters for that.

“The position we’re in, you should always welcome the pressure. It means you’re in a fantastic position which is competing for a position in the last eight of the Champions League.

“It’s an important competition and we want to progress.”

James to be assessed | Pulisic in squad

Chelsea will make a late call on defender Reece James after he missed the Leeds match with a thigh injury, while Christian Pulisic is back in the squad, but the game is too soon for midfielder N’Golo Kante who has been sidelined since August.

“It’s a complex one with him [Kante] because he has had a long time out. It’ll be a case of how we get him back up to speed to play Premier League or Champions League football,” Potter said.

“He won’t be able to go back in for 90 minutes any time soon, but the fact he is with us is exciting.”

Has Leeds win papered over cracks for Potter?

Chelsea owner Todd Boehly did not have much to say after Chelsea narrowly beat Leeds but Potter admits his team need to keep fighting

Sky Sports’ Ben Grounds:

Graham Potter vowed to “look into everything” to try and halt an alarming run of form that had seen Chelsea win just once in 2023 prior to the cagey 1-0 victory over Leeds last Saturday.

Wesley Fofana’s powerful header was the first time his side had scored at home since January 15, and only a second goal anywhere across seven games in all competitions.

After three straight clean sheets in January and February, Potter will hope he has found a temporary solution to cover for Thiago Silva following his knee ligament injury, but the result papered over the cracks of the performance.

A potential Chelsea XI in a 3-4-2-1 formation

A potential Chelsea XI in a 4-2-3-1 formation

It was unconvincing but stopping the rot was all that mattered. It has bought Potter time when there is yet to be a clear sign that players signed in January at a cost of £315m are gelling into a cohesive unit.

Still 11 points off fourth in the Premier League, Chelsea’s best hope of qualifying for next season’s Champions League would appear to be through winning the competition. It is make or break for Potter.

The owners’ attitudes to the manager’s long-term future, until now unwavering in their support, have begun to shift.

Chelsea must improve on their poor record of recovery when falling behind. This is when they must show character.

Potter’s side have lost their last nine matches in which they have conceded first, and confidence visibly drained from the team once they went a goal down early in the second half of the 2-0 defeat by Tottenham towards the end of last month.

Chelsea must now show they have started to turn a corner, that there is no problem with mentality, but any sense of momentum will be derailed if Borussia Dortmund dump them out of Europe.

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