GRAHAM POTTER says “life is about taking risks” as he prepares for his debut as Chelsea manager.
The 47-year-old completed his move to the Brighton Blues on a five-year deal last Thursday – just 24 hours after Thomas Tuchel was sacked.
Potter is the eighth permanent position at Stamford Bridge in just over a decade and the first under new American owner Todd Boehly.
After a hot start to the season, Potter will need to revive the squad quickly – starting Wednesday night in the Champions League at home to Austria’s RB Salzburg.
He has spent his coaching career in Sweden with Ostersunds before making the leap to the Premier League with Swansea and then the Premier League with Brighton.
Potter said, “Life is about taking risks and doing something that’s a little bit outside of what you’re comfortable with.
“You can grow and develop. I had a young family and they gave up a lot to come to Sweden. It wasn’t exactly Barcelona or Monte Carlo.
“When I took over at Brighton the team had just finished fourth from the bottom.
“The task was to bring the squad down, change the style of play and focus recruitment on winning games in the Premier League.
“I will forever be thankful and thankful for these experiences I had. It made me a better person and a better coach. It’s part of what made me who I am today.
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“You learn a lot about what you can deal with, about ups and downs, about how to take responsibility, especially when things are not going well.
“We can really put that experience to good use.”
The magnitude of Potter’s challenge would have been clear to him as he walked across the Blues’ Cobham training ground.
On one particular wall is a collage of all the trophies won in recent years, from the Champions League under predecessor Tuchel in 2021, the FA Cup under Antonio Conte in 2018 and the Premier League with Jose Mourinho in 2015.
Potter, 47, added: “It’s the start of a really exciting time.
“A new property that I was really impressed with, first as a people and then with their vision for the club and what they wanted to do.
“The history of the club speaks for itself. It’s about trying to create that in our own way.
“But you just have to walk around the place and see the pictures and the trophies, the names. It’s incredible.
“It’s a great honor for me to be a part of it now.
“My career has progressed. I had a great time in Sweden and back in the UK I had a fantastic experience. It’s nice to be able to take the next step.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for me to work with an exciting group of players that we have here, play at the top and try to create a winning team.
“If you want to talk about how to sustain your message and convince people you’re on the right track, win.
“My starting point will always be with the person first.
“You have to understand that they are people, understand what motivates them and what they are like as people.
“From this you try to find common ground to build relationships, communicate effectively on a daily basis and build respect, build trust, build honesty.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6206322/graham-potter-taking-risks-chelsea-training-cobham/ Graham Potter admits life is about taking risks as the new Chelsea boss puts the stars through their paces for the first time