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Chelsea manager search: Interim boss Bruno Saltor says players “will be sad” after Graham Potter sacking

By on April 4, 2023 0 21 Views

Chelsea manager search: Interim boss Bruno Saltor says players “will be sad” after Graham Potter sacking

Bruno paid tribute to the work of Graham Potter in his first press conference as Chelsea interim boss, describing his task as “a massive challenge”; Bruno’s first Chelsea game will be vs Liverpool, live on Sky Sports from 7pm on Tuesday; kick-off 8pm.

Chelsea interim boss Bruno Saltor

Chelsea interim head coach Bruno Saltor said it had been a “difficult” 24 hours following Graham Potter’s sacking which will have left the players “sad” – and suggested he intends to continue the work of his former boss during his tenure.Potter was dismissed on Sunday after a 2-0 defeat at home to Aston Villa saw Chelsea slide into the bottom half of the Premier League table, despite their record-breaking transfer outlay this season.

Bruno had joined the club as part of Potter’s coaching staff but will now step into the hotseat until Chelsea’s owners appoint a permanent successor.

The former Brighton captain has never managed a team before and in his first press conference underlined the pain the staff at the club had felt at Potter’s exit and hinted he would not be making major changes to the team’s way of playing.”Obviously it has been a difficult 24 hours for all of us, for the staff, for the families and now we have to live with the situation,” he said.

“If I’m here right now it’s because Graham and the club thought it was the right step. I’m just here to help the club in the best way I can.

“I’m here right now, trying to keep the process going. We try to go along with it the best we can. I think Graham did an amazing job. Football is a really complex business and we have to keep going.”

    Stream Chelsea vs Liverpool with a Sports Membership on NOWGet Sky Sports | Download the Sky Sports AppChelsea sack Graham Potter | Julian Nagelsmann early frontrunner as next boss

Bruno also said he expected the players to be hit by the news of Potter’s sacking, but insisted they must quickly switch their attention to the big match-up with Liverpool on Tuesday night, which is live on Sky Sports.”I couldn’t see the players yet. We have an afternoon session planned,” said Bruno. “At the end of the day, all of us are responsible, we have to focus on Tuesday’s game and that’s the energy we’re working on.”I don’t have to give any clues to Liverpool [about team selection] but I thought we dominated the game [against Villa]. We lost the game, there were a few mistakes but overall it was a good performance, we had a lot of chances and we’re going to try to keep as close as we can [to that].”

When asked about whether he would like the job on a permanent basis, Bruno smiled and said, “It’s something I can’t control. I’m focusing on what I can control and going day by day.”However, he did reveal he had received support from the club’s owners, Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali, and will be trying to guide the team’s young players through this period.”It’s a massive challenge,” Bruno said about being in charge of Chelsea. “I’ve been just four years a coach but 24 years involved in football. I have a lot of experience in changing rooms, trying to help players, guide players because I’ve been in those situations before.”I’ve got the feeling I can help especially the young players who haven’t been in that situation before.”Who is Bruno Saltor?With no managerial experience, Graham Potter’s first-team coach Bruno Saltor is the unlikely man tasked with leading Chelsea until the end of the season – but who is the Blues’ interim manager?The last name may throw you off, but Bruno – as he liked to be known – was well-known as a player, having spent seven years with Brighton.He was a cult favourite as a player with the Seagulls, making 235 appearances and helping the team achieve promotion in the 2016/17 season as Sky Bet Championship runners-up.

Bruno spent seven years as a player with Brighton

Bruno was also key in establishing Brighton as a competitive Premier League club, playing under Chris Hughton and Potter before retiring in May 2019.His playing status is immortalised with a mural in Brighton entitled ‘El Capitan’, which was painted on the side of a building in the city’s North Laine area to mark their first season in the Premier League.After retirement, the former right-back joined Potter’s coaching staff as senior player development coach, before departing for Chelsea alongside the now-former Blues manager in September 2022.Now, Bruno finds himself in charge of one of Premier League’s biggest clubs – despite having only three and a half years’ experience as a coach. His first task will come against Liverpool in the league on Tuesday evening, live on Sky Sports.

Co-controlling owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali said in their statement: “Along with our incredible fans, we will all be getting behind Bruno and the team as we focus on the rest of the season.”We have 10 Premier League games remaining and a Champions League quarter final ahead. We will put every effort and commitment into every one of those games so that we can end the season on a high.”

He has the challenging task of trying to transform a disjointed and underperforming side full of big-money players, as well as navigating an extremely difficult Champions League quarter-final up against Real Madrid.”Let’s see where the future takes me and I will just try to be ready for whatever comes up,” Bruno said in an interview with Sky Sports in 2021.He is now – for time being – the manager of Chelsea. Let’s see if he’s ready.How to follow Bruno’s first Chelsea game live on Sky SportsBruno’s first game as interim Chelsea manager will be shown live on Sky Sports as they host Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday evening in the Premier League.Coverage begins from 7pm on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event, with kick off at 8pm.You can also follow all the latest updates in our dedicated live blog on the Sky Sports website and app, with free in-game clips and free match highlights available across Sky Sports’ digital platforms shortly after full-time.Who will be the next permanent Chelsea boss?

According to Chelsea, Potter ‘has agreed to collaborate with the club to facilitate a smooth transition’ and Julian Nagelsmann has already emerged as a frontrunner to be his long-term successor.”For all Chelsea’s insistence that they were investing in a process manager and his “innovative coaching” – plus their continued claims of backing his vision – the club’s approach, especially recruitment-wise, was in contrast to Graham Potter’s entire career,” reflected Sky Sports’ Melissa Reddy.”Chelsea have twice before tried to tempt Mauricio Pochettino. They are one of three known Premier League clubs making a long play for [Brighton boss and Potter successor] Roberto De Zerbi. But the timing of this Potter decision, with Nagelsmann freshly available and Spurs circling, is instructive.”

However, there are doubts that the 35-year-old German is currently prepared to move to London.”Chelsea will have been doing their homework in the background, trying to set up a replacement. At the moment, we don’t know who that person will be. What we do know is that they want Julian Nagelsmann and and he is available at the moment,” explained Sky Sports News’ chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol.”The latest information we have coming out from Sky Germany is that they’re not convinced that he’s going to want to move from Germany and take another job straightaway. Maybe he’s going to want to wait until the summer to give him a little bit of a chance to recharge his batteries after leaving Bayern Munich.”The information I’ve got from my colleagues at Sky Germany this evening is it is 50:50 as to whether Nagelsmann would be prepared to move to Chelsea at the moment.”Chelsea’s remaining 2022/23 fixturesApril 4: Liverpool (H) – Premier League, kick-off 8pm, live on Sky SportsApril 8: Wolves (A) – Premier League, kick-off 3pmApril 12: Real Madrid (A), Champions League quarter-final, kick-off 8pmApril 15: Brighton (H) – Premier League, kick-off 3pmApril 18: Real Madrid (H), Champions League quarter-final, kick-off 8pmApril 26: Brentford (H) – Premier League, kick-off 7.45pmApril 29: Arsenal (A) – Premier League, kick-off 5.30pm, live on Sky SportsMay 6: Bournemouth (A) – Premier League, kick-off 3pmMay 13: Nottingham Forest (H) – Premier League, kick-off 3pmMay 20: Manchester City (A) – Premier League, kick-off 3pmMay 28: Newcastle (H) – Premier League, kick-off 4.30pmTBA: Man Utd (A) – Premier LeagueFixtures subject to change

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