Graham Potter has given his first extended interview as Chelsea manager.
he 47-year-old was appointed as Thomas Tuchel’s successor on Thursday, signing a five-year contract to become the first managerial appointment of the Todd Boehly-Clearlake Capital era.
Having been impressed with his work on the south coast, Chelsea’s ownership saw fit to rush through a move.
A coach renowned for his brand of attacking football, the former Brighton boss believes the club are set for an exciting new era, with new faces on the board, in the dugout and in the team.
Talking to the club’s in-house media channel, Potter outlined his vision at Stamford Bridge and explained his decision to leave Brighton.
Read Potter’s full interview below:
“It’s the start of a really exciting period. New ownership, who I was really excited with and impressed by, firstly as people and then their vision for the club and what they wanted to do.
“The history of the clubs speaks for itself, but it is about trying to create that again in our own way.
“My career has gone forward, I had a great time in Sweden and came back to the UK and had fantastic experiences, and it is just nice to take that next step and to be able to work with an exciting group of players that we have here, and compete at the top, try and create a winning team. That is a fantastic opportunity for me.
“It is an amazing history, fantastic tradition. It is a historic football club. Growing up with the fantastic teams of Chelsea of the modern era. You only have to walk around the place and see the pictures, the trophies, the names, it is incredible. It is a huge honour for me to be part of that now.
“It is about creating a team that competes, that has respect for each other, that is honest, that works together. So it is a combination of football and human values that we try to work with. I think you have to understand that they are human beings first.
“The key thing is to try and understand them, what motivates them and what they are like as people. From that, try to come to some common ground, build relationships, communicate effectively on a daily basis. And to build respect, build trust, build honesty, so my starting point would always be the person first.
“I had a football career that I was very fortunate to have, that gave me loads of opportunities and experiences. Then my education after retiring gave me a chance to put that into some theory.
“Challenges abroad meant that I could widen my thoughts on myself, on life, on football, which was a fantastic opportunity for me. So all those challenges and experiences shape you as a human being, they make you grow, develop.
“I think in order to get better you have to take a little step outside of what is comfortable.
“When we took over at Brighton the team had just finished fourth from bottom playing a certain style. The remit was to bring the age of the squad down, change the playing style and then align the recruitment with winning matches in the Premier League.
“If you want to convince people you are on the right path, it’s winning. When you are trying to develop a club, that is the challenge I think.
“Surreal, hectic, a whirlwind, exciting, amazing… a little bit of sadness, of course, because you are leaving some good people but very happy and excited to meet new people. So a whole range of emotions, but overall, I’m really happy and very proud.
“It is one of those places that fills you with incredible excitement when you come as an away team. The crowd is always getting behind the home side. It is amazing the atmosphere, it is something I am really looking forward to.”
© Evening Standard