GARY NEVILLE has urged Chelsea to stick with under-fire boss Graham Potter.

That’s despite him winning just two of his last 14 Premier League games.

Gary Neville has urged Chelsea not to sack Graham Potter


Gary Neville has urged Chelsea not to sack Graham PotterCredit: Alamy
Neville believes it must be hard for Potter to juggle 33 players in his squad


Neville believes it must be hard for Potter to juggle 33 players in his squadCredit: PA

Chelsea’s season hit a new low on Saturday when they crashed to a 1-0 home defeat against manager-less bottom feeders Southampton.

Blues fans felt their side showed a spectacular lack of substance at Stamford Bridge as they were outplayed in all areas.

And Potter’s cause was also not helped by the half-time sub of David Datro Fofana, Chelsea’s sole bright spark, with Mason Mount then deployed as a No9.

Huge choruses of boos and jeers greeted the ex-Brighton boss at the final whistle as his 10th-place side collapsed to a dismal defeat, leaving them 11 points off the top four.

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And supporters are now calling for Todd Boehly to wield the axe, with the American showing little sympathy when he booted out Champions League winner and serial finalist Thomas Tuchel in September.

But Manchester United legend Neville, whose former side sit third in the table and bolstered their own Champions League ambitions with a 3-0 win over Leicester yesterday, reckons Boehly should hold fire.

Neville has instead urged the American to keep the faith with Potter after backing him to the tune of £326million in January transfer signings.

And Neville also reckons it can’t be easy for the Chelsea manager to deal with a bloated 33-man squad on the training field each day.


He told the Gary Neville Podcast: “Potter is under massive pressure. You can see it in his face. The chances they missed in the second half and the boos at the end of the game felt a little ominous.

“I think they’ll want to do the right thing, the Chelsea owners. 

“They’ve sacked a manager very early in the season in Thomas Tuchel, they’ve owned their new manager, they’ve brought recruitment assistants in alongside him, so they’ve invested heavily in Graham and his team.

“But they have to hold their nerve if they want to see it through.

“But I suspect that nerve is being tested, as any owner’s would be when you’ve spent that level of money and you’re losing games at home to the (side) bottom of the league.

“He’s a fantastic coach but you feel watching Potter he’s a measured man. 

“He’s a good coach, [but] you get the idea he’d like to build a pattern of play with a group of players on a consistent basis and he’s got 33 of them staring at him down the barrel saying ‘play me’.

“And these aren’t junior players, they’re senior internationals and I can’t imagine what it must be like to have 33 players. 

“I was a manager for a very short period and we had a squad of 22, 23 at Valencia and you’re looking at 11, 12 players every week thinking ‘I’m not going to play you’.

“He’s got 22 players who are not going to play. If they’re all fit – how do you even get them all into a training session?

“A good training session you’d have 16-20 players. If you’ve got 22 players, five of them are training with the reserves or on their own. That isn’t right. 

“They needed to unload players off Graham Potter to take the pressure of handling all those players that are expecting to play every single week.

“I’ve used the word chaotic and I think it has been chaotic in the first six months of the Boehly ownership. I won’t change my mind on that.

“They’ve invested heavily, they’re putting their money where their mouth is and are saying all the right things. 

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“But at this moment in time, it won’t be a successful project when you have 33 players all looking at the manager and a manager who wants to build a measured project.

“It feels a little bit conflicted with what Potter would ordinarily be really strong at and what the ownership seem to want in respect of filling a squad and accumulating players of that sort of volume.”

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