Raheem Sterling's form is something that will improve if Chelsea take steps forward as a team, suggests Blues boss Graham Potter.

The England international has struggled for goals since his move from Manchester City to Stamford Bridge ahead of the current campaign, with the winger looking to cement his place in Gareth Southgate's Three Lions plans.

An injury to club and international team-mate Reece James has seen him take on a positional change, playing at wing-back over some recent games in an unfamiliar role.

That has reduced his direct impact in attack, but Potter has suggested the 27-year-old will get back into the swing of things if the players around him also take steps forward.

"It's something we have to look at not by zooming into one person but as a team," he was quoted as saying on the club's website. "We can do better but if we do better as a team, then individuals will benefit from that so that's where the work is.

"Raheem has the flexibility, ability and quality to play in a number of positions. It's not straightforward with us losing the players we have. We're trying to constantly find the right balance and the right solutions, but he can help us."

Sterling figured at the front again for Chelsea in their 1-1 draw with Manchester United, when Red Devils defender Raphael Varane left the field in tears with a potential injury that could scupper his Qatar 2022 World Cup chances.

Potter acknowledged the looming tournament is likely to have an impact on players as they aim to avoid any issues that may prevent them from being in contention.

"I don't think it affects their performances, but they're also human beings," he added. "Somewhere subconsciously, you're thinking that in three weeks' time, there's a World Cup.

"I guess because of how close it is after the games finish, normally you would have a build-up phase and a bit more time, but we're going from competition phase to playing the World Cup within a week.

"It's incredible how it is, but we can't do anything about it. We just have to help the players as best we can and make sure they're not in dangerous situations for their own health."