Chelsea head coach Graham Potter says he is “proud” of his players after they earned a “hard-earned point” at Brentford.
The Bees and Blues played out a 0-0 draw in the Premier League on Wednesday evening.
The point maintained Potter’s unbeaten start to life in charge of the Stamford Bridge club.
He perhaps felt a little fortunate to avoid defeat, although he admitted he was “disappointed” not to steal the points from Thomas Frank’s side.
“We’re always disappointed when we don’t win,” Potter told Amazon Prime. “Over the course of the game a point is fair, they had chances and we pushed at the end.
“It was a tough game against a team that makes it tough. We pushed and pushed and gave it everything. It’s not easy with the schedule but we put the effort in and I’m proud of them – it’s a hard-earned point.
“There’s no rest, we have to keep moving. We’ve had two away games, Aston Villa and Brentford and four points is not too bad but we wanted to win.”
Potter also defended his decision to leave Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the bench for 81 minutes.
Former Arsenal striker Aubameyang, who has scored three times in his last five matches, was left kicking his heels as his team-mates laboured in front of goal.
Aubameyang was finally sent on with nine minutes remaining but his only half-chance was a low drive from outside the area which was easily gathered by Bees keeper David Raya.
When quizzed on why Aubameyang was not sent on sooner, Potter said: “I know the reasons why. He’s played a lot and it gave Kai Havertz a chance to play. But yes, I understand the question.”
It was a match where the two goalkeepers were the stand-out players, Chelsea’s Kepa Arrizabalaga in the first half and fellow Spaniard Raya in the second.
Kepa Arrizabalaga tipped Ivan Toney’s header over and made a point-blank save from Bryan Mbeumo, while David Raya kept out Cesar Azpilicueta’s drive and saved from teenage substitute Carney Chukwuemeka in stoppage time.
“I thought over the course of the game a point was fair; they had chances, we had chances, we pushed and pushed at the end but they make it hard for you,” added Potter.
“They do what they do really well. Full respect to them.
“The positives are a clean sheet and a point. Four points from two away matches is positive and we have to move on.”
Conor Gallagher appeared to give England boss Gareth Southgate another fitness concern ahead of the World Cup when he came off after just 13 minutes.
But Potter revealed: “I haven’t spoken to the doctors but he just felt ill, he said he thought he was going to be sick. Hopefully it’s a 24-hour thing and he’ll be OK.”
Despite Potter insisting a draw was a fair result, Kepa said it felt like two points dropped.
“Every player needs confidence, this push, and for the goalkeepers it is even more important,” the Spaniard said.
“If you are playing in a row of games, it’s important for your confidence and I’m playing well, I think. I need to keep going and keep working.
“We’re not happy. They had chances and we had chances and in the last 15 minutes we were playing in their box and we had clear opportunities and should score something.
“The feeling is that we have dropped two points and we wanted three points to be fighting with the top clubs.”
Brentford boss Frank praised Kepa as he said the Spaniard was man of the match, much like Edouard Mendy was in this fixture last term.
“The feeling is a strange one as we were playing against Chelsea,” Frank said.
“That day when we got promoted, they won the Champions League final so the difference between the two teams is immense.
“But the performance we had, especially in the first half, we were by far the better team. Overall we should deserve the win, from the 84th minute we were looking a bit tired but I think we did fantastically.
“Kepa [Arrizabalaga] was fantastic. Every time Chelsea come here, their goalkeeper is man of the match. Now we need to recover and I need to find a good starting 11.
“We’re going to Villa Park, a really difficult place to go, but we believe we can win.”
READ NOW: Liverpool bias clear as England keep overlooking defender Arsenal wouldn’t swap for anyone
Leave a Reply