MARC CUCURELLA knows what Graham Potter is capable of.
He has seen it at Brighton and now, after the Chelsea manager has finally been given some time to work with his squad, is excited for what is to come at Stamford Bridge.
Cucurella, who arrived from The Amex in August, a month before Potter followed the same path to replace Thomas Tuchel, concedes the first part of the season has not been good enough.
Chelsea are sitting eighth, eight points from the top four. Not a familiar or comfortable position.
But Cucurella — signed in a deal that could reach £62million — feels they are ready to change that after the restart.
The Spaniard, 24, told SunSport: “This is maybe another season.
“It is really good for us, the last games before the break we didn’t play too good or get results but this is a new season.
“We have to stay together, play good football and win games.”
Cucurella’s faith that things will change when the Blues return to Premier League action this month stems from his confidence in Potter.
The former Swansea and Ostersunds manager faced critics when he first joined Brighton.
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They finished 15th and 16th in the top flight in his first two seasons before securing ninth place last term.
Now, thanks to his work, the Seagulls are above Chelsea in the table and capable of troubling any of the big boys.
If Potter could do that at Albion, on a fraction of his new budget, imagine what can happen in West London.
Cucurella gave a grin when asked about Potter’s tactics being combined with a star-studded squad.
He said: “We have big players to do his ideas. I was really happy at Brighton with him and now he has come here and I think it is good for me and the rest of the team. He is a good coach because his idea of football is attacking.
“All of it is a process. The first season with Graham in Brighton the results were not good, they stayed down in the table.
“They continued with the same ideas, working, working and working. Then, last season and this season they played really good with the same ideas.
“We need to work and understand his ideas and the results will arrive.
“It is difficult because it is a new coach with different ideas and it is difficult to change without the time to train.
“This part of the season we have time, we meet more and know the ideas of the coach. This second part of the season, I am excited for.”
Cucurella is part of a group of senior players who have not been involved at the World Cup — along with Reece James, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Jorginho and Ben Chilwell.
That has meant they have been able to work with Potter for a sustained period, including during a warm weather camp in Abu Dhabi.
Cucurella added: “After he arrived, it was difficult training because there are a lot of games.
“These weeks gave us time for training to prepare for the second half of the season. It is good training together because you understand the players and your team-mates’ movements.
“All the changes are difficult. We have a lot of players to come with a new manager, not a lot of training time because we play a lot of games.
“We need to know his ideas and then play together — these weeks have been very good for us.”
Cucurella became the most expensive full-back in Premier League history when he joined Chelsea for an initial £55m, rising to £62m, just a year after moving to Brighton from Getafe for £15.4m.
It has been a huge change in terms of pressure and environment for the former Barcelona academy player, but one he has relished.
He said: “I have really enjoyed it. It is difficult and different, you have more pressure and you need to win every day.
“In Brighton, it is different because maybe they don’t have the same pressure and it is not a big, big club.
“This is amazing because I am in a big club that all players dream to play here.”