Chelsea boss Graham Potter hits all the right notes with classy Newcastle United verdict

Graham Potter is full of praise for Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe.

Chelsea boss Graham Potter has spoken glowingly about the job Eddie Howe has done at Newcastle United - as the two teams go head-to-head at St James’ Park on Saturday evening.

In just 12 months, Howe has transformed the Magpies from a relegation-threatened team to one that is currently sitting third in the Premier League table. Outsiders have put that success down to the money spent in the transfer window but Potter believes it is more a reflection of Howe’s management.

United will open up a nine-point gap over Chelsea and cement their position in the Champions League places for the World Cup break should they walk away with three points tomorrow night. Imagine thinking that was a possibility at the start of the campaign?

Potter said: “I think it’s more of a reflection of the job they’ve done, Eddie has done a fantastic job. He’s improved the players that were there and improved the team with some really good recruitment. They’ve spent some money to reinforce the team.

“I can speak for half an hour on how good I think Eddie is as a person and a coach, I’ve got huge admiration for him, He’s galvanized the team. There is fantastic support at St James’ Park and the club is moving forward.”

Chelsea manager Graham Potter. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Chelsea manager Graham Potter. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Chelsea manager Graham Potter. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Potter has already faced Newcastle this season as Brighton and Hove Albion manager, where the two sides played out a goalless draw on the South Coast.

“They were a strong side when we played them,” Potter said. “When I look back on the game, I’d say we should have won the game but you could see already they had a physicality and intensity about them.

“Eddie has done a fantastic job, he really has. I really like what they’re doing. I really like how they’re playing. We’ve got a tough game.”

Asked about Chelsea during his pre-match press conference, Howe also set aside praise for Potter. The 44-year-old said: “We know it’s going to be a really difficult game. I really like Graham Potter and I’ve got a lot of respect for him. His teams always, tactically, give you a problem so we’re going to need to deal with that.

“They’ve got world-class players but we have to make sure we continue our excellent intensity levels and the crowd play a part because I think that’s been a big weapon for us here.”