Graham Potter's Newcastle United verdict

Graham Potter’s given his verdict on Eddie Howe’s transformation of Newcastle United ahead of Chelsea’s visit to St James’s Park.

Howe’s side are third in the Premier League ahead of tomorrow’s game against Potter’s team, who are six points behind them in seventh. And Potter was asked about the job Howe has done at the club, which was taken over a year ago by an ambitious consortium led by Amanda Staveley.

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Asked if Newcastle were “ahead of schedule” following the change in ownership, Potter said: “I think it’s more a reflection of the job they’ve done. Eddie’s done a fantastic job.

"He’s improved the players that were there. He’s improved the team with some really good recruitment. They’ve spent some money to reinforce the team.

"I could speak for half an hour about how good I think Eddie is as a person, as a coach. I have huge admiration for him. He’s galvanised the team. There’s fantastic support there, and the club’s moving forward.”

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Potter, appointed as Thomas Tuchel’s successor at Stamford Bridge in September, was in charge of Brighton for a goalless draw against Newcastle at the Amex Stadium early in the season.

“They’ve got results deservedly,” said Potter. “That builds confidence, momentum.

Chelsea head coach Graham Potter.

"They were a strong side when we played them. You could already see they had a physicality, an intensity. Good in all phases of the game. Eddie’s done a fantastic job, he really has.”

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Potter added: "I really like what they’re doing, I really like how they’re playing.”