GRAHAM POTTER has the job, the pay package and a snazzy new blue tracksuit, but he’s still fed up with himself.
In his previous job as Brighton boss, Potter claimed he will never be a ‘sexy’ Premier League manager.
Tomorrow he will referee his first Premier League games as Chelsea head coach – which is said to be one of football’s plum jobs, regardless of the risks involved.
Despite the glitz and glamor that comes with the £10million annual salary, plain old Potter is happy as he is.
He said: “I very rarely feel sexy. Maybe you do, but I very rarely do.
“I’m smart enough to know that I started from the bottom row, below the bottom row and after a process of trial and error and a lot of hard work and a lot of luck and help from other people I’ve got this point.
“It’s quite a fantastic achievement and something I’m really proud of, but at the same time I’m a human being and certainly not perfect and I don’t think I’ve cracked anything, that doesn’t mean I’ve done it all get answers.
“There is no Lamborghini on order – I drive the same car I drove when I picked it up in England when I returned to Swansea.
“My life hasn’t changed at all if I’m honest. Despite living in a different location, I’m still trying to prepare for the games, doing my job and preparing for the challenge ahead.
“I know I’m in a process of continuing this evolution, continuing this journey and trying to improve myself because ultimately if you want players to do the same, I think you also have to be a role model be responsible for this behavior.”
The message of utter humility is carried from Potter’s office to the dressing room.
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Regardless of who you are and what you have won, the priority is to keep it real and not get carried away.
Potter said, “It’s dangerous for anyone. Of course I respect what people have achieved, but the hardest thing is the next day. That’s football.
“You have to try to constantly improve, try to get better, otherwise you will stagnate or go backwards.
“The boys are ambitious, they want to improve, they want to get better, they want to achieve something, they want to win. The only way to have that is to have that mentality.
“If you’re ever going to succeed or try to do anything, you have to be true to yourself, and I’m not saying I’m right or wrong or anything, it’s more that I have to be myself and be a part of it I’m a bit self-deprecating.”
Potter, 47, has been in charge for three weeks but only now will he be able to handle the pressures of a Premier League game as manager of an elite club.
The Queen’s death meant two postponements that will eventually lead to a clash of game plans.
As an ex-Brighton manager, he will face a tough baptism at Crystal Palace – his former club’s bitter rivals – tomorrow. It will guarantee him a rough reception at Selhurst Park.
After all, he has an almost perfectly healthy squad with no renewed injury worries from the international break.
In the last two weeks, he has only had three players on the training ground, with the rest of the squad away.
Potter has noticed one key difference from his old club.
The pedigree and legacy that comes from continued success.
He said: “What we have here is a story and a recognition of photos of people who have won big trophies and that’s the main thing.
“That’s where the expectation, or the pressure, is the difference.
“It’s not about facilities, it’s about pitches, it’s more about people, about understanding the differences and the context of this football club.
“Top, top managers, legends, big trophies, that’s the difference.”
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