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      Graham Potter excited for Chelsea squad despite team-building ‘challenges’

      ByMonelo Gabriel

      Feb 14, 2023

      The Blues have never faced BVB in European competition and are hoping their first leg to start the knockout stages will result in their second win of 2023, despite spending a significant amount of money in January.

      Chelsea’s form since the window closed has sparked rumors that the influx of new faces has led to tensions at Stamford Bridge, but Potter said: “It’s a team we’re very excited about, but at the same time, we know there’s challenges and work we have to do.

      “Every time a new group is forming, if we all started working together, we would have to take some time, understand what motivates us, understand how we can help each other.

      “That’s the impression I get when I see the guys on a daily basis. There is good spirit, good harmony, they are pushing each other in a good way. We had a good session today and you can see the guys are working hard to support the team and each other.

      “So while there are challenges, there are also a lot of things to be happy about.”

      The stuttering tenth-placed Potter is ready to take on an opponent in excellent form, with six straight wins in all competitions.

      BVB sit third in a tight Bundesliga table, just three points behind leaders Bayern Munich and two behind second-placed Union Berlin.

      Raheem Sterling was not on the Chelsea flight to Germany, but Wesley Fofana, Denis Zakaria and Mateo Kovacic will return to Potter’s squad as they continue to improve their fitness.

      January additions Mykhailo Mudryk, Joao Félix and £106.8m man Enzo Fernández will all be looking to make their first appearances in Europe wearing Chelsea blue.

      While Potter was pleased to have bolstered their ranks, he insisted it will take more than deep-pocketed new owners to recreate Chelsea’s Champions League-winning formula in 2021.

      The former Brighton boss added: “There is more pressure and expectation that when you spend money you must earn. Fortunately, we know that football doesn’t work exactly like that. You need resources to win, but you need more than that, and that’s the challenge.

      Record Premier League signing Enzo Fernández could make his first European appearance for Chelsea
      Record Premier League signing Enzo Fernandez could make his first European appearance for Chelsea (Mike Egerton/PA)

      “There are things that money can’t buy you and that’s where you have to do your job. My experience is that you have to align your resources very well, understand the opportunities that you have and the strengths that you have, and how you can compete against teams with more resources than you. Can be done.

      “Can Brighton win the Premier League four out of five times? No, I probably wouldn’t say because 95 percent of leagues are determined by finances. But if you’re not in the big boys, you’ll want to be in the five percent that bucks the trend.

      “The way to do it is to understand your idea, the opportunity you have, and align the resources you have in a good way.

      “It’s like war, at some point the guerrilla war can win. You don’t always have to have the big guns and the big ammo. But sometimes it helps too.”


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