Graham Potter is one of the best coaches in the Premier League, and Chelsea will be rewarded for sticking with him, according to Pep Guardiola.
Chelsea face Guardiola’s Manchester City in the EFL Cup third round on Wednesday – a task Potter is unlikely to relish given recent results.
After a nine-match unbeaten run to start his Stamford Bridge reign, Potter lost 4-1 at former club Brighton and Hove Albion last month.
A narrow defeat to Premier League leaders Arsenal on Sunday was a second in a row domestically, and pressure is already building on the coach.
But Guardiola thinks highly of his opposite number, and he said ahead of their meeting: “I’m not the right person to say that because it’s not my business. But if Chelsea accepts my humble advice, with no intention, give him time and he will do well.”
The City boss added: “I have a lot of admiration for his work. What he did at Brighton is beyond exceptional, and I’m pretty sure with time he will do a good job.
“I don’t have any doubts about this. It’s the same with Roberto De Zerbi at Brighton.
“When they start losing games, it’s a question of time. If they are patient, he will have an impact in England and he will have it as Graham has done in this country.
“He’s one of the best managers, from my point of view, we have in this league.”
10 –have become the first side to win 10 Premier League away games against Chelsea, while they’re just the second visiting side to win three in a row at Stamford Bridge after Blackburn Rovers (1993-94 to 1995-96). Dominated.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe)
Guardiola will encounter another man under pressure on Wednesday as former City star Raheem Sterling returns to the Etihad Stadium with Chelsea.
Sterling scored against Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League last week, but that was only his fifth goal for Chelsea. He netted 17 for City last season.
“No, no, I cannot judge,” Guardiola said. “In the case of Oleks [Zinchenko], Gabi [Jesus] and Raheem, I want the best.
“So, my gratitude to all of them, especially these guys, is immense, immense for what they have done for this club. Just hats off.
“Thank you so much, and I wish him all the best and, hopefully, he’s happy there.
“I definitely hope [Sterling gets a good reception]. I always like clubs when they welcome the guys who had been here many years and have been key figures and important roles in our team in all these years.
“Because maybe you forget what happened in the last month, but that is not a reality [of] what happened in a period of six, seven years he was here.
“He deserves it, of course. The same is going to happen with Gabi. When the game starts, of course, you want to beat them. But I think in England, people appreciate that.”