'Playing with 10': Graham Potter admits 22-year-old Chelsea player was totally anonymous early on last night

Graham Potter has claimed in his post-match interview that starting Conor Gallagher last night was like beginning the game with 10 men.

The Chelsea man was substituted early for yesterday for Mateo Kovacic, as the Blues drew 0-0 with Brentford.

It was quickly noted that the midfielder was ill, and unable to continue after a visibly difficult start.

Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

The result brought an end to the winning streak under the new manager. However, they remain unbeaten since replacing Thomas Tuchel.

One of Potter’s strengths so far has been his ability to rotate and still maintain control of games.

One of the benefactors of these decisions has been Gallagher, who was rarely played in position under the former manager.

He scored his first goal for the club in the former Brighton man’s first Premier League game in charge, sinking his former club Crystal Palace.

Gallagher forced off ill

However, Potter has claimed the decision to start him last night has backfired, with the club struggling in the minutes he was on the pitch due to his illness.

He said: “I’ve not seen him since, but he was sick, he was feeling ill but we were pretty much playing with 10 from the start because of that.

“That’s disappointing from our perspective, we hope he’s okay, and we had to adjust there, and it probably didn’t help our start.”

Photo by Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images

With N’golo Kante’s injury setback ruling him out for another four months, there will remain an impotence on Gallagher to continue to feature regularly.

There are still plenty of games left until this winter’s World Cup. The next fixture comes on Saturday against Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United.

The Red Devils are hot on the heels of the Blues for the last place in the top four.

Jack is a writer for The Chelsea Chronicle. He has been a part of GRV Media since June 2022. He has a First Class Honours degree in Football Journalism from the University of Derby, graduating in 2021. Jack has experience working freelance for The Sun and The Athletic, whilst also being published for the Non-League Paper and reporting for Burton Albion's academy side. He is a lifelong Chelsea fan and will debate with anyone about everything and anything football related. He also holds a passion for gaming and music, and thinks he knows every word to every Oasis song ever released