Chelsea manager Graham Potter and his family have received anonymous death threats following the Premier League club’s poor run of results, he told reporters on Friday.
Chelsea are 10th in the table with two wins in their last 14 games and have only scored once at home this year.
“As much as I’ve had support, I’ve had some not very nice emails that have come through that want me to die and want my kids to die, so obviously that’s not pleasant to receive,” said the 47-year-old former Brighton & Hove Albion boss.
“The challenge for me is, ‘OK, how do I conduct myself?’ That’s what I always turn round to. The higher you go, the more pressure you have on how you are as a person.”
Since Potter took the job in September after the sacking of Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea have won nine of their 25 games.
“I want to succeed here. There is this nonsense that I don’t care. Where does that come from? Where’s your evidence on that?,” he added, ahead of Sunday’s trip to Tottenham Hotspur.
“If you go to work and somebody’s swearing abuse at you, it’s not going to be pleasant.
“You can answer it two ways. I could say I don’t care, but you know I’m lying. Everyone cares what people think, because we’re hardwired to be socially connected.”
Potter said life had been difficult over the past few months as he tried to fashion a winning team, with Chelsea 11 points adrift of fourth-placed Spurs albeit with a game in hand.
“Ask my family how life has been for me and for them. It’s been not pleasant at all,” he added.
“I understand supporters go home and they’re annoyed because the team aren’t winning but, I assure you, my life for the last three, four months has been fairly average, apart from the fact I’m really grateful for this experience.”
Regarding the death threats towards his family, Potter said a line had been crossed.
“You just have to put it aside, and thankfully it’s an isolated incident and it could come from anywhere. It’s just one of those things,” Potter told Sky Sports.
Asked if it had rocked him, he said: “Not really. It’s just a throwaway line, I think. I don’t give it any more weight than that.
“It’s not pleasant and it’s not pleasant for the family. You accept the criticism, you accept to be booed if you lose a game, you accept whatever comes your way absolutely.
“Of course there’s a line but I wouldn’t be the first person in life where the line’s been crossed and maybe in this instance it has been crossed.”