Graham Potter admits Chelsea trio suffered ‘brutal’ World Cup due to injury


    Chelsea v Aston Villa - Al Wahda Challenge Cup
    Graham Potter acknowledges that it has been a tough time for some Chelsea stars (Picture: Getty Images)

    Graham Potter admits it has been a ‘brutal’ time for his Chelsea stars who missed the World Cup through injury, admitting that there has not been a lot he can say to help Reece James, Ben Chilwell and N’Golo Kante.

    The trio all missed out on the tournament in Qatar, with Chilwell and Kante still out injured, while James has recovered from the knee injury he suffered earlier in the season.

    The full-back was close to recovering in time to make the England squad, which made his omission all the more painful, and Potter admits it has been a really hard time for the injured trio.

    ‘It was a World Cup and they come around every four years. So when you’re young, the perspective is not so easy to get,’ said the Chelsea manager.

    ‘You are young and you want to play. That’s really understandable. It’s the same for Reece, Ben Chilwell, N’Golo Kante. It’s brutal really to have to deal with.

    ‘You can try to help them and give them a bit of perspective but in the end it has to come from them, their families and those people close to them.

    ‘I have to say he is in a good mood, he is in a good place. He has trained with us, is training well and is a good team-mate. He has dealt with it well.

    Reece James of Chelsea Fc looks on during the Uefa Champions
    Reece James is expected to play against Bournemouth on Tuesday (Picture: Getty Images)

    ‘There is not too much you can say. You say it will get better with time and you have to focus on the things you can control. But there is nothing you can say to a player that will make it get better.

    ‘He is missing the World Cup. What can I say? All I can do is acknowledge that it is upsetting, that whatever he is feeling is normal and help him move forwards.

    ‘It was a challenging period for him. It was a challenging period for all the players. There were another 12 that are watching their team-mates and getting injured and missing the World Cup. You have to think on some level there is an effect there. They’re only human.’

    Chelsea are back in Premier League action at home to Bournemouth on Tuesday 27 December, with Potter still dealing with a lot of injuries.

    Kante and Chilwell are still out, while Wesley Fofana, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mateo Kovacic, Hakim Ziyech and Armando Broja are all unavailable.

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