'The hits keep coming' - Potter reacts to Joao Felix red card and insists Chelsea newcomer was 'really good' on debut
- Chelsea fell to 2-1 loss
- Potter acknowledged difficult spell
- Highlighted red card as turning point
WHAT HAPPENED? Potter included the Portugal man in his starting line-up, but Felix lasted less than an hour before he was shown a straight red card for a high tackle on Cottagers full-back Kenny Tete. The pressure continues to pile up on the Chelsea manager, who appeared visibly exhausted after yet another league defeat, with Felix's red card in particular a hammer blow given his contributions before that point.
WHAT THEY SAID: "It was a forwards tackle, there was no malice in it but I understand why it was a red," Potter said on the challenge after the match. "It is another blow, the hits keep coming at the moment. He was really good, you could see his quality in the game, so it is doubly disappointing for us.
"I think we controlled the game early, won the ball back high, created some opportunities and maybe missed the last pass. We made a couple of mistakes for their goal. Second-half I think we responded well and then the red card changes the game... We've got to keep working, there are no other solutions."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Tuesday's loss was Chelsea's third consecutive defeat and their sixth in their last eight matches across all competitions. With his side remaining tenth and ten points behind Manchester United in fourth, who have a game in hand, Potter will now be without Felix for three games due to his suspension from his debut. He joins midfielder Denis Zakaria on Chelsea's absentee list after the Swiss player hobbled off just minutes before the Portuguese's dismal, taking the tally to 11 first-team players unavailable for selection.
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DID YOU KNOW? Fulham's win against Chelsea on Thursday night was their first against the Blues since March 2006.
WHAT NEXT FOR CHELSEA? Despite these injury woes and dire form of late, Potter will attempt to lift his side when they take on Crystal Palace on Sunday.