CHELSEA can still finish in the Premier League top four if they beat the teams that are above them, claims club legend Gus Poyet.
The Blues are 10th in the table with a game in hand and 11 points separating them from fourth-placed Tottenham amid a turbulent season.
Gus Poyet claims Chelsea can finish in the top four if they beat the teams that are above themGetty
Poyet admits Champions League qualification is “difficult” for his former team because it doesn’t only depend on the results they get until May.
The Greece manager insists a lot will also go down to how the West Londoners’ rivals fare in the top flight, which is why Graham Potter‘s side must win as many games as possible.
The 55-year-old head coach is also adamant Chelsea will have to beat Brentford, Brighton, Newcastle, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal to raise their hopes.
Poyet told SunSport: “I think it’s difficult. But not difficult because of Chelsea, it’s because of the teams that are above Chelsea. They can do the same.
“I always say that it’s not only about you. When you’re up against someone next to you and you have to play against them you can say maybe it depends on us. But here, there’s too many teams ahead of Chelsea.
“I think it’s difficult, it’s not impossible but practically they need to win every game and 100 per cent they need win against the teams that are above them. Non-negotiable.
“The problem now is that they are in the Champions League. And the players’ mentality says, ‘We are there, who knows?’ So it’s something as well that can push one way or the other.”
Potter has come under fire this season after losing 10 out of 28 matches, of which he has only won 11, across all competitions.
But Poyet has no doubt the former Brighton boss deserves more time and is the right man to lead the Premier League giants next season.
The Uruguayan tactician is a “very big fan” of Potter and is impressed with how well he has handled the “tremendous” pressure after a recent poor run on the hot seat.
However, the ex-midfielder admits the Chelsea boss will have to forget about the future and concentrate on the present, which has been the club’s priority since the Roman Abramovich era.
Poyet said when asked if Potter deserves another season at Chelsea: “Yes, without a doubt. I’m a very big fan of Graham Potter.
Gus Poyet insists Chelsea manager Graham Potter is the right man for the teamGetty
“When he went to the club he knew exactly what he wanted to do, then the situation put him in a totally unexpected place in January with the new players arriving, the quantity of players he needs to coach every day, [and] not being able to pick the best team.
“The consequences was not winning games and the pressure he’s had is tremendous. Every day was only about Graham Potter, and you need to live with that. And you need at those times the players to stand up. And they did.
“And I’m sure today the feeling is totally different. But this is not going to stop if you don’t continue to perform. Yes, I want Graham Potter to do well. Yes, I think the young players that arrived in January they are a big part of the future. But Chelsea is today. No one at Chelsea thinks about next season.
“Everybody is thinking what are we going to do at the weekend. Because that’s the way Abramovich and [Jose] Mourinho, [Carlo] Ancelotti, [Antonio] Conte convinced the fans what Chelsea are about. About winning trophies and winning every single game.”
Chelsea picked up a comfortable 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday to qualify for the Champions League quarter-finals.
Potter only started two out of the eight players he signed during a busy January transfer window that cost over £300million – those were Joao Felix and Prem record signing Enzo Fernandez.
AlamyChelsea have been undergoing a turbulent season across all competitions[/caption]
Poyet suggested the 47-year-old understands it is his more experienced players, rather than the most recent signings, that can push Chelsea back in the top four.
Poyet added: “I think it was their best performance of the season or one of their best without any doubt. The desire, the togetherness, the way everybody put an extra effort on the game shows that it’s possible. We think about the starting XI, there was practically no new January players.
“It’s the old group of the beginning of the season, which shows that Graham made a strong decision and said, ‘Okay I know the new players are good, I know the new players are the future of the club. But right now, I need the players that have the most experience’.
“So there was not that kind of mix of the experienced ones with the new ones that arrived in January. In this game they had to wait. Because sometimes – and I think Chelsea are one of these teams – it’s about today, it’s not about two years’ time.”
Gus Poyet was speaking to The Sun on behalf of Neuecasinos24.com.