Potter says he had to make tactical change to help Chelsea duo in Newcastle defeat

Chelsea manager Graham Potter said he tried to tweak his formation after his midfield duo was overrun by Newcastle United but to no avail.

The Blues suffered their third consecutive Premier League defeat after Sunday’s 1-0 loss at St James’ Park.

Similar to the previous two instances, Chelsea simply could not deal with the opposition’s high pressing.

Eddie Howe’s men successfully stopped the visitors from playing from the back and forced them to play desperate long balls to their lone striker Armando Broja.

As a result, Chelsea’s midfield duo; Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic, who are clearly better at distributing the ball than defending, were rendered ineffective.

Potter tried to deploy a diamond midfield with Conor Gallagher and Kovacic playing as number eights behind Mason Mount, but unfortunately, it was not enough.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

“In a game of few chances, they got a winner,” the Chelsea manager told BBC MOTD after the game.

“We changed things, but we didn’t have enough. You could see in the first half they were pushing us back.

“We could not get out of the defensive third as much as we like. So we put on an extra man in the middle of the pitch.

“Conor had a good shot, but then our defensive line was a bit off, and we conceded a good finish.”

Potter had plenty of time to address the team’s obvious problem when coping with high pressing, so he is at least partly to blame for the defeat.

Key injuries obviously did not help, but the lack of a clear plan on the pitch in recent weeks is not a good sign.

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A Chelsea fan who loves football statistics. Studied sports journalism at the University of Sunderland.