Chelsea coach Potter to attend first Champions League game

LONDON (AP) — Graham Potter’s debut as Chelsea coach on Wednesday will also be his first time at a Champions League game.

Ahead of Chelsea hosting Salzburg, Potter’s first media duty on Tuesday with the two-time European champion included being asked if he ever attended a game in the marquee competition.

“Off the top of my head, I don’t think I have. My experiences in the Champions League are just at supporter level,” he said, acknowledging just watching matches on television.

Potter stepped up after Thomas Tuchel — a two-time Champions League finalist as coach who led Chelsea to the 2021 title — was fired within hours of a 1-0 loss at Dinamo Zagreb in the opening round of Group E games last week. AC Milan is also in the group.

The 47-year-old Englishman also never played in European competitions during a journeyman playing career yet excelled in his first experience as a coach five years ago.

“But obviously I’ve experienced the Europa League with Östersund, winning at Galatasaray and getting through the group stage,” said Potter, who spent seven years transforming the unheralded Swedish club.

Potter joined Chelsea from Brighton, which he left in fourth place in the Premier League table, two spots above his new club.

“It’s been a whirlwind, getting to know people, leaving Brighton, learning about the players,” he said. “So far it’s been really, really positive.”

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