'A bit of a fool' – Graham Potter responds as Gary Lineker questions Chelsea tactics after Brighton thrashing

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Gary Lineker questioned Graham Potter’s unusual tactics as his new team Chelsea suffered a 4-1 thrashing against his old club Brighton at a fired-up Amex Stadium

Potter endured mocking taunts of “you’re getting sacked in the morning” as his unbeaten start was smashed as new Albion boss Roberto De Zerbi recorded his first win as since taking over from Potter last month.

Rampant Albion raced into a commanding half-time lead, with own goals from Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Trevoh Chalobah compounding Potter’s misery following Leandro Trossard’s early opener.

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Kai Havertz pulled a goal back just after the restart but the Blues were unable to prevent a first defeat in 10 games since the sacking of Thomas Tuchel as Pascal Gross rubbed salt into the wound in added time.

Chelsea boss Graham Potter suffered a painful loss on his return to Brighton in the Premier LeagueChelsea boss Graham Potter suffered a painful loss on his return to Brighton in the Premier League
Chelsea boss Graham Potter suffered a painful loss on his return to Brighton in the Premier League

The remarkable result at a raucous Amex Stadium was the Seagulls first over the west London club since 1933, with the unforgiving home supporters gleefully revelling in their ex-manager’s suffering.

BBC Sports broadcaster and former England striker Lineker was baffled by Potter’s tactics as attacking talents of Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic were used as wing backs.

He tweeted: “Potter’s system of a back 3 and wingers at wingback, which he changed very quickly from in Chelsea’s previous league games, has failed miserably in the first half at Brighton.”

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Lineker later added: “Changed tactics again at halftime and Chelsea much improved.”

Potter, who was jeered when he stepped from the bus and repeatedly throughout the 90 minutes, looked quite frazzled in the press conference after the painful defeat.

Asked abut his tactics and Sterling and Pulisic in particular, Potter said: “The responsibility was not for them two to defend their wing backs. But I understand if you do something and it does not work, you can look a bit of a fool. I have to accept that and I have to do better.”

Potter added: “Yes of course the score-line and the defeat is a painful one. We didn't really recover. It's part of the process. You have to suffer and feel pain in order to grow and get better.

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"Nobody said we were the finished article. We have to take the pain from today and learn from it."

Despite feeling bitterness from the stands, Potter insisted he had nothing to apologise for following his switch to west London seven weeks ago.

“I didn’t have any expectations,” he said of the reception.

“I have nothing to say sorry for, I have nothing to apologise for. I did a good job.

“You can see the team’s a good team. I took over when they were fourth from bottom in the Premier League, probably the third worst team.

“There’s a lot of money been raised in terms of player sales and there are a lot of good players on the pitch.

“I hope for their sake the next managers do as good a job and that’s brilliant for them.”