Graham Potter feels it was important to bring smiles back to Stamford Bridge with Chelsea's victory over Leeds United and underlined the significance of having scorer Wesley Fofana back in the team.
Chelsea bounced back from consecutive defeats in the Premier League with a deserved win over Leeds United, Wesley Fofana's header just after half-time being enough to give us the victory, after Kai Havertz had forced a good save from the goalkeeper and Joao Felix struck the woodwork in the first half.
Speaking after the game, Graham Potter was pleased with having rewarded the supporters with a win following a difficult run of results, and explained the nervous finish to the game was probably inevitable given the importance of securing the result for the Blues, giving us a boost ahead of our midweek Champions League meeting with Borussia Dortmund.
'We’re delighted with the win, that’s for sure, because we’ve had a tough period,' said Potter. 'I’m delighted for the players, delighted for the supporters, because they’ve had to suffer, so it was pleasing to get the win.
'We started the game well and created some opportunities. Playing against Leeds is always tough, they’ve got a high intensity. When we got the goal it was a pleasing moment for us all and then the second half was probably a little bit about that we had something to lose, which is where you’d expect us to be given the run we had.
'At the end it’s really good for the players to keep a clean sheet, get a win and to have that feeling. It’s nice.
'I’m delighted for the players and I’m delighted for the supporters, because they’re the most important people at the football club. If you don’t’ get results then it’s my responsibility and I accept that.
'It’s been a tough period for us all but it’s nice to go home with the win and now we need to prepare for a really exciting game on Tuesday night, which I’m sure will be a fantastic atmosphere and occasion and we want to try and win it.
'It’s a nice three points, an important three points. It’s good for confidence, good for morale. The boys have been suffering because they care and our supporters have been suffering as well. It’s been a tough period for us. The win gives us the chance to recover, to prepare for a massive game on Tuesday night and that’s what we have to focus on.'
Potter praised the performance of Ben Chilwell, reminding people he is one of several players who has had to try and hit the ground running when returning from injury...
'When you’re not winning it doesn’t matter, because you’re not winning, but the likes of Ben, Wesley [Fofana], Ruben [Loftus-Cheek], Reece [James], Raheem [Sterling], all those guys are all getting minutes in the Premier League.
'In an ideal world you’d build that up in a pre-season campaign over five or six weeks of building up their time on the pitch, but we haven’t been able to do that, so we’ve had to do it in the Premier League.
'Ben’s got stronger and stronger as the weeks have gone on and today I thought he affected the game in a really good way and contributed a lot to our first-half performance.'
Two other players who earned praise from our head coach were returning scorer Wesley Fofana and his fellow defender Kalidou Koulibaly...
'With Kalidou, sometimes it’s not easy just to land and hit the ground, it isn’t as straight-forward as that. There’s been a lot of change and transition here but he’s a great guy, he wants the team to do well.
'He cares and I felt he helped Wesley and he helped Benoit [Badiashile], two young players, and he showed a leadership and a calmness which was important for us. So I’m really happy for him.
'We’ve missed Wesley. It was the Milan game at home when he had his injury, that’s a long time ago. He brings something different – his physicality, he defends big spaces, allows you to defend a little bit higher up the pitch because he’s got the pace and the physicality to recover. Then in the box he can attack the ball well, so he’s an important player for us.'