Chelsea manager Potter defends formation choice for RB Salzburg draw

Chelsea manager Graham Potter has explained his formation in the 1-1 draw with RB Salzburg on Wednesday.

In his first game as Chelsea boss, Potter deployed a back-three with Raheem Sterling and Reece James playing as wing-backs.

Asked about his starting shape, Potter told reporters: “It was a back three as far as I was concerned with Reece and Raheem giving us the width.

“Salzburg are very strong in the middle with a 4-3-1-2 and it’s not easy to play through the middle of the pitch so we wanted to get some dangerous width. Raheem and Reece were that, more full-backs in the lateral positions and then midfield players.

“We got Raheem into some good situations and Reece as well down that side, but Salzburg defended well. They blocked and their keeper made some good saves. We can improve as well but from how the boys approached the game I’m really happy.”

Questioned on the balance between attack and defence, Potter continued: “Whatever you do, there’s always a plus and a minus.

“We’re at home, we wanted to be on the front foot and get some attacking ideas in those wide positions.

“Raheem is really good at attacking a back-line and scored a fantastic goal, I thought he was really good in the game. Reece balances it off a bit so we can still defend in a four if we need to so that was the thinking.”