Under-fire Chelsea boss Graham Potter hit back at his critics and insisted he is the right man for the job despite his side sinking to a shock home defeat against bottom club Southampton.
Potter was met with furious shouts from Blues fans as he headed down the tunnel at Stamford Bridge at the final whistle after the managerless Saints held on for a deserved victory.
James Ward-Prowse’s stunning free-kick on the stroke of half-time put them in front and the visitors held on relatively comfortably despite Chelsea pinning them in their own half for much of the second period.
Chelsea have now won just two games in their past 14 in all competitions.
But Potter, who made six changes to the side that lost to Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday, believes he can turn things around.
“After a 1-0 defeat at home any criticism you get is understandable,” Potter said at his post-match press conference.
“We have had a tough period and the challenge of integrating some young players into the Premier League.
“While results don’t go your way it can be tough, that is how it is.
“There will be people out there who think I am the problem.
“I don’t think they are right, but I am not arrogant enough to say their opinion isn’t worth articulating.
“My job is to help the team and keep working through a tough period.
“We had to make some changes today but the truth is we took a step back with our performance in the first half. We were better in the second half but not good enough.”
Reece James and Thiago Silva were two of the players left out the squad but Potter said the pair needed to rest, with James having only just returned from injury.
“Reece has played two 90s this week, which is more than we expected from him, so it is just a case of managing the load,” Potter said.