Graham Potter opens up about the ‘whirlpool’ of taking over at Chelsea as he gives his first press conference since replacing Thomas Tuchel… and admits he has never been to a Champions League game ahead of his debut tomorrow night.
- Graham Potter was announced as the new Chelsea manager last Thursday
- He replaced Thomas Tuchel just one day after the German coach was sacked
- Potter admitted his start at Chelsea was a “whirlwind” experience
- He has also admitted that he has never been to a Champions League match
- He will take charge of his first game in the competition with Red Bull Salzburg
Graham Potter has admitted swapping Brighton for Chelsea was a “whirlwind” experience but felt the move to Stamford Bridge was “too big to turn down”.
Potter spoke at his first press conference since replacing Thomas Tuchel on Tuesday afternoon and revealed that talks moved quickly when approached by Chelsea.
However, he has said he was impressed by the owners’ vision and didn’t need much convincing to take the job.
Graham Potter has described his early days at Chelsea as a “whirlwind” experience.
“Things happened incredibly quickly,” he told reporters.
“I had some very intense conversations with the owners and quickly realized that they were good people, smart people who had been hugely successful in their lives outside of football and wanted to achieve something here. (They had) a really exciting project, really exciting ideas about how to take the club forward, and it was really, really positive.
“I’m not going to lie, it’s been a whirlwind in terms of meeting people, leaving Brighton, learning the players. My first impressions have been really good and I’m really looking forward to getting started.”
Potter thrived at Brighton during his three years at the Amex Stadium but knows he faces a new challenge at Chelsea, where he will be expected to challenge for trophies.
Potter praised co-owners Todd Boehly (R) and Behdad Eghbali (L) for their “exciting ideas”
However, he does not see joining Chelsea as a risk that could fail.
“I’ve taken careful steps in my career, I haven’t just jumped at the first opportunity.
“I tried to figure out what was involved and whether it was the right time for me to take on the next challenge, but I think that’s life. Life is about getting out of your comfort zone.
“I don’t see it as a risk in a negative way, but I think everything is a bit of an unknown and that’s the beauty of life,” he added.
Potter’s first game in charge of Chelsea will see the Blues take on Red Bull Salzburg in the Champions League.
The 47-year-old has never done it before and has admitted he has never been to a Champions League game as a fan, but relishes the challenge of stepping into the unknown.
Potter admits he has never been to a Champions League game but is excited about managing the competition
Potter’s predecessor, Thomas Tuchel, won the Champions League with Chelsea in 2021
Chelsea made a nightmare start to their Champions League campaign with defeat to Dinamo Zagreb last week
He continued: “Off the top of my head, I don’t think I’ve been (to a Champions League game).
“I think it’s a good time to go to the dugout, why not!? Wherever we start, it’s a good introduction. Wherever we start will be brilliant, and why not start here?’
Potter also confirmed he will have almost a fully fit squad to choose from for his opening game, with Edouard Mendy and N’Golo Kante missing on Wednesday night.
“Eddy (Medy) will miss the game, NG (N’Golo Kante) too. Other than that, everyone else is fine,” he said.
Edouard Mendy is currently sidelined, while N’Golo Kante will also miss out on Wednesday
Follow Sportsmail’s live blog to hear what Graham Potter has to say in his first press conference as Chelsea manager.