Aston Villa boss Unai Emery believes “amazing” Graham Potter can transfer his success from Brighton to Chelsea with time.
Emery and his Villa side will travel to Stamford Bridge on Saturday in an attempt to extend their current Premier League unbeaten run to five games as Chelsea aim to make it four.
Both sides went into the international break in positive form and will be looking to pick up where they left off come Saturday evening.
After a stuttering start to Potter’s reign, the Blues earned a spot in the quarter-finals of the Champions League with an aggregate win over Borussia Dortmund and were marginally denied a third straight Premier League win by Everton’s last-minute equaliser through Ellis Simms last time out.
Emery believes Potter needs more time but can become successful at Chelsea and he told a press conference: “They (Chelsea) have very good players and their coach (Potter) is amazing.
“His work in Brighton was amazing and he needs time to adapt his ideas to Chelsea. Progressively, they are doing better.
“He deserved to take a step ahead with a team like Chelsea – They are progressing, and everything he did in Brighton he can do in Chelsea. He needs time, he needs matches and to know his players better.
“They played very well in the Champions League. In the Premier League, they’re not keeping the balance of being consistent in the table.”
Emery was not in the Villa Park hotseat when the two sides previously met in the season, as Potter oversaw his third game in charge with a 2-0 win courtesy of a Mason Mount double.
Things have changed in both camps, including Emery taking over from Steven Gerrard but the Spaniard believes despite their current position, they are still one of the best teams in the league.
“For us, Saturday is a match against one of the best teams in the Premier League, with a very good coach, with very good players.
“It’s a very good challenge, and I came here because I want to play against the best teams.
“We are in the same position. We are 11th but are close and with the same points as Chelsea. We are close to teams that are having a very good season – Fulham, Brentford, Brighton.
“We are excited by the prospect, for the first time, to be close to them.”
Villa captain John McGinn will be on a high as he returns from the international break with Scotland having won both of their Euro 2024 qualifying matches.
The 28-year-old scored in Scotland’s 3-0 win over Cyprus before helping the side cruise to victory with a 2-0 triumph over Spain at Hampden Park.
Emery has hailed McGinn’s attitude to training as well as playing several different roles since he took over as boss.
He said: “He has very good spirit every day, he wants to train every day – as a professional, he is amazing with his commitment and his example for other players.
“I like him. When I arrived here, I remember the first meeting we had in the dressing room and now he is the same.
“I’m very happy with him and his performances have been at a high level – It was very good for me to know he can play in different positions.”