Chelsea boss Graham Potter defended his players after defeat at Newcastle.
Chelsea lost 1-0 via a Joe Willock winner for Newcastle.
Potter said, “It was a tough game for us. Losing Ruben (Loftus-Cheek) and Aspi (Cesar Azpilicueta) at half-time. You can see in the two teams the different schedules. Newcastle have one game a week and we have a tough schedule. That showed. But there were also too many enforced errors. We got through a few times but we didn’t have enough quality.
“In a game of few chances, they got a winner. 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.
“For different reasons, you have 13 matches in six weeks, a lot of those games away from home. It is what it is and it has been tough challenging. We have a break now and we need to re-energise. For us in terms of what we’ve had with an incredibly intense period, it is what it is. We need to take the positives. A lot of the boys will be away but we can get away, regroup and go again when we come back.”