Graham Potter was delighted to see Adam Webster and Dan Burn back in action on Tuesday night at Stamford Bridge and not just because of what they offer on the pitch.
Their absence through injury – in Webster’s case for ten weeks – left Potter short of defensive options with Solly March and Tariq Lamptey already ruled out for the campaign.
“It’s great to have both Adam [Webster] and Dan [Burn] back,” Potter said. “We’ve been a little bit light while those two have been unavailable.
“We’ve managed with the three we’ve had with Joel [Veltman], Lewis Dunk and Ben [White]. But if you get any injuries or suspensions, you’re down to just the two.
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“We have to be careful with Adam and Dan in terms of making sure they have recovered, but on and off the pitch they’re important for us because of their personalities and their characters. They have their attributes on the pitch as well which are useful.”
Potter’s backline have only conceded nine Premier League goals in 2021, a stat only bettered by Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea, although he will have to make a change at Sheffield United on Saturday as White serves a one-match ban.
“Defensively as a team we have been really good, there was a stage where we seemed to concede from not too much and at times we have been heavily punished, which can happen in this league,” added Potter.
“Generally the way we have defended has been really good, we have had good leadership in terms of Dunky at the back, but as a collective we have been really strong so credit to the squad for that.”