Graham Potter cannot wait for Chelsea’s luck to change in front of goal to turn around their poor run of form.
A 1-0 defeat at Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday was the latest in a disappointing string of results that has seen them win just one game in nine matches in all competitions since the turn of the year.
Karim Adeyemi’s goal means Chelsea have a deficit to overturn at Stamford Bridge on March 7 if they are to reach the Champions League quarter-finals, though the Blues were perhaps unfortunate not to be taking a positive result back to London after an encouraging attacking display.
Potter’s side had 21 shots, with eight on target, accumulating an xG (expected goals) of 2.2, while Joao Felix also rattled the woodwork. It was the most attempts Chelsea had registered in a Champions League knockout match without scoring since the 2011 quarter-final first leg against Manchester United.
Potter appreciated his team’s increased attacking threat against Dortmund, but also feels there is more his side can do having now drawn a blank five times in their last nine matches.
“I don’t like to use luck as something to wait for as you can’t control it,” Potter told reporters. “Clearly you need it.
“The Dortmund game was a positive in terms of chances created. The criticism for us and the fair criticism is that we haven’t attacked as well as I would have liked us to. It was closer.
“We feel there’s progress, but you play a game and you need to win it. There is a lot going on, integrating new players and all of the time playing good opponents. That’s where we’re at.”
Despite Chelsea’s recent bluntness, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has not started a game since early November with Kai Havertz largely preferred to the former Arsenal captain through the middle.
Yet Potter said of the striker: “Pierre remains an important part of his squad. His attitude has been really good.
“There’s David [Datro] Fofana too who is a young player with potential. There are other forwards as well.”
Chelsea will look for just a second win in 2023 when they host Southampton on Saturday, aiming to beat a side bottom of the Premier League and without a manager having sacked Nathan Jones last weekend.
Asked whether the game is a must-win fixture to keep hopes of European qualification alive, Potter replied: “It’s a game we want to win. There’s no point in focusing on four months away.
“We’re focused on Southampton. We have to be ready for that challenge, to play at home and try to get three points.
“I thought the Dortmund performance away from home was another step forward, but we have a different challenge at the weekend. [We are] satisfied but [there is] always room to improve.
“Anything can come at you because they [Southampton] have a caretaker manager [Ruben Selles] and a week to prepare. We have no reference, that’s the challenge. I think there’s a big challenge coming our way.”
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