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Graham Potter said Chelsea’s players were “fighting together” despite Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa that saw them slump into the Premier League’s bottom half.

The atmosphere was audibly hostile around Stamford Bridge as the Blues lost for the fourth time at home this season, with some voices behind the dugout at the final whistle calling for the head coach to go.

Chelsea created enough chances to have beaten Villa comfortably but a lack of cutting edge inside the box hampered them once again.

Unai Emery’s visitors, on the other hand, were clinical, scoring in each half through Ollie Watkins and a brilliant 30-yard strike from John McGinn to pile the pressure back onto Potter.

Yet the boss was insistent there remained enough fight in his side to turn their season around.

“The players gave everything today, as much as we’re all disappointed with the result,” Potter said. “The attack was there. The scoreline is painful for us. There’s not much I can say that sounds positive.

Aston Villa
Aston Villa inflicted Chelsea’s fourth home defeat of the season (John Walton/PA)

“They (the players) are professional footballers, they play for Chelsea, they understand the demands. They’re not stupid.”

Chelsea face Liverpool at home on Tuesday and Wolves at Molineux next weekend, before heading to Madrid to face European champions Real in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final.

Winning the tournament is likely to offer the team’s only route into Europe for next season after they slipped further adrift in the race to finish in a qualifying place through the league.

“The players are honest,” Potter said. “They want to do better. We’re there fighting for each other, fighting together. There’s no complaints about how the supporters respond.”