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James In ‘Good Place’ After World Cup Blow – Potter

Chelsea right-back Reece James is in a “good place” after the “challenging period” of missing out on the World Cup, says boss Graham Potter.

A knee injury meant James did not make England’s squad for the tournament.  The 23-year-old has since returned to training and is available for Chelsea’s game against Bournemouth on Tuesday.

“It was a World Cup and they come around every four years. So when you’re young, the perspective is not so easy to get,” said Potter.

“You are young and you want to play. That’s really understandable. It’s the same for Reece, [England left-back] Ben Chilwell, [France midfielder] N’Golo Kante. It’s brutal really to have to deal with.  “You can try to help them and give them a bit of perspective but in the end it has to come from them, their families and those people close to them.”

James picked up his knee injury against AC Milan on 11 October and said he was “devastated”  not to make England’s squad.  “I have to say he is in a good mood, he is in a good place. He has trained with us, is training well and is a good team-mate. He has dealt with it well,” added Potter.

“There is not too much you can say. You say it will get better with time and you have to focus on the things you can control. But there is nothing you can say to a player that will make it get better.  “He is missing the World Cup.

What can I say? All I can do is acknowledge that it is upsetting, that whatever he is feeling is normal and help him move forwards.  “It was a challenging period for him. It was a challenging period for all the players.

You have to think on some level there is an effect there. They’re only human.”  Potter said James had been “training for a few weeks”, although Kante, Chilwell, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Wesley Fofana remain out.  “For him [James], the best thing is that he is playing football – the World Cup is finished now and he can concentrate on playing football,” said the Chelsea boss.

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