Graham Potter says Chelsea players knew their “level had dropped” before his arrival and is pleased with the way they have lifted themselves.
Former Brighton boss Potter took over from Thomas Tuchel last month and is unbeaten in three matches.
Two of his outings so far have been in the Champions League, with Chelsea impressing in a 3-0 victory over AC Milan on Wednesday.
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Asked about his first few weeks in charge, Potter told BT Sport: “They [the players] knew the level had dropped a bit and when you do that at this level you can be punished.
“This performance was a credit to the players and my job is just to remind them that they can play at the level they did today.
“The boys have been really open, responsible, honest, they’ve been fantastic to work with. They know they can do better, which is great from a coach’s perspective.”
Reece James was one of the standout performers against Milan, bagging a goal and an assist while also keeping a clean sheet.
Former Chelsea winger Joe Cole said James’ display was “sublime” and Potter was also full of praise for the right-back.
“Reece is just a fantastic player and a young player so he’s developing all the time. He’ll get better and better as we go.
"I’ve really enjoyed working with him. He’s got a lot to offer and he can play in any game in the world so my job is to help him reach his potential because his potential is beyond the sky.
“We love him and he’s so important for us. His potential is he could be a Chelsea legend and that’s the level he has, but for that to happen he has to be part of a successful team and that’s what we’re working towards.”
The only negative on the night for Chelsea was an injury to summer signing Wesley Fofana after he had scored the opening goal.
Fofana left the ground on crutches and Potter said: “We’ll have to scan it tomorrow and see how he is but there’s nothing to report at the moment.
“That’s the one disappointing thing about the evening so we have our fingers crossed. We’re concerned but I don’t want to speculate on it now. These things happen. He’s a young guy and a strong guy but we’ll support him.”
The win is Chelsea’s first in Group E and moves them a point behind leaders Salzburg ahead of a return trip to Milan next week.
“We’re looking forward to going to the San Siro, I am that’s for sure,” said Potter.
“It’s a fantastic place to play football. You saw the away support here - they were very loud and got behind the team so I can imagine what it’s going to be like at the San Siro.
“We’ll have to be strong and be ready for that. It’s going to be a huge challenge for us.’
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