UCL: I didn’t play Sterling as traditional wing-back, says Chelsea boss Potter

Chelsea boss, Graham Potter, believes he didn’t play Raheem Sterling in a traditional wing-back role for their draw with RB Salzburg.

Sterling started wide with Chelsea playing a back three for the 1-1 Champions League draw.

Potter said afterwards, “Well, there is that possibility, but you have to organise around that as you don’t want Raheem really defending in his box too often, and I don’t think he did. I think Marc Cucurella managed the situation quite well. I can’t remember too many opportunities they had down that side.

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“Whatever you do, there’s always a plus and a minus, but we were at home, and we wanted to be on the front foot and get some attacking ideas in those positions. Raheem is really good at attacking a backline and scored a fantastic goal. I thought he was really good in the game. Reece balances it off a little bit, and we can still defend in a four if we need to, so that was the thinking.”

The new Blues manager also said: “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 their 4-3-1-2, so it’s not easy to play through the middle of the pitch. We wanted to get some dangerous width, and Reece and Raheem were that.

“They were more full-backs in the lateral positions and then midfield players. I thought we got Raheem into some good situations and Reece as well down that side. Mason, too and we scored a good goal. Then they defended well, blocked, and their goalkeeper made some good saves. We can improve as well, but like I said, how the boys approached the game, I am really, really happy.”

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