Graham Potter explains Mason Mount decision as Chelsea lose to Aston Villa
The 24-year-old returned after a month out with a pubic bone injury to bench but was not called up as Ollie Watkins and John McGinn claimed victory at Stamford Bridge.
Against the backdrop of his increasing exile, contract negotiations have stalled which have led to talk of a move to Liverpool, Manchester United or Bayern Munich.
Speaking after the match, Potter explained why he didn’t turn to Mount to turn the match around: “With Mason, I just felt like we were there in the game.
“We did a few offensive subs and wanted to see how it all landed. Mason returns and has only had a few days of practice.
Potter went on to explain why he chose Marc Cucurella and Reece James as centre-backs, two players who usually prefer to play at the back, adding: “We wanted to attack, we wanted to use Marc and Reece as two full-backs, that’s where that space would be and they can build attacks well.
“I think we had good opportunities from an attacking point of view, we won the ball, high too. I think we had a 1v1 with Mischa [Mudryk] two to three times.
“It’s a mistake for the first goal and every time there’s a mistake there’s always something you can do better.”
He also confirmed that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Hakim Ziyech, Denis Zakaria and David Datro Fofana were all simply left out of his squad, with only Edouard Mendy not surviving an injury.
Meanwhile, he highlighted the fact his side had 27 shots on Saturday but couldn’t score, their most goalless attempts in a league game since 2014.
With so many chances created and squandered, Potter had no doubts about his players’ effort on Saturday night: that we have done very well. but ultimately the two boxes are the most important area and that’s where we failed.
“In the first half I thought we had a few chances, we got it high and created a 1v1 situation quite early in the game.
“Obviously the goal is a blow for us. We have to do better than that. Of course, it’s difficult then, you’re down 1-0 at home. I thought the team gave it their all, I thought the team’s intention was there.
“You could tell by the number of times we walked into their box, the shots we had, there was positive intent but the scoreline is painful for us.”