Pep Guardiola has told Chelsea owner Todd Boehly to give Graham Potter time after Manchester City condemned the west London side to their sixth defeat in their last nine matches.
Chelsea were knocked out of the FA Cup in the third round for the first time in 25 years after a 4-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
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Potter has said he needs time to turn things around at Stamford Bridge after taking over in September, and Guardiola reiterated the point to Chelsea owner Boehly.
“I would say to Todd Boehly: Give him time,” Guardiola told a news conference on Sunday.
“I know in big clubs, results are important but I’d say give him time.
“What he’s done at Brighton is outstanding, but he’s right, we need time in the first season. I had [Lionel] Messi in Barcelona my first season so I didn’t need two seasons because Messi was there.
“Everyone needs it. To play against City, when we are at this level, it’s not easy for any team.”
Chelsea were 3-0 down inside 40 minutes against City and did not have a shot on goal until well after half-time.
During the second half, some of the 7,000 fans who travelled from London started chanting about former manager Thomas Tuchel, who was sacked by Boehly despite winning the Champions League in 2021, and former owner Roman Abramovich.
“We can’t do anything apart from do our jobs better,” said Potter, when asked about the chants in support of his predecessor Tuchel.
“We understand the supporters’ frustration, we respect that. But we have to keep working. There are always other opinions and negative opinions because the results aren’t positive.
“I understand their frustration and when you look at the results and team performance today it is so far away from Manchester City. That is clear.
“We have to focus on the next match and stay together as a group and I am sure we will get the support of the supporters when they see good performances and good results.”
Chelsea, who have won just three of their last 12 games in all competitions, have slipped to 10th in the Premier League table and are 10 points adrift of the top four.
They are next in action on Thursday against Fulham, who are on a run of four straight wins since the World Cup.
“The results in a small space of time aren’t positive,” Potter added.
“You can make excuses and look for reasons or say it isn’t good enough. Both of those are correct. We are suffering as a club.”