18 February 2022

Brighton boss Graham Potter not prepared to write off Burnley challenge

18 February 2022

Brighton boss Graham Potter is not about to write off Burnley’s chances of lifting themselves out of the relegation zone to secure Premier League survival once again.

The Clarets head to the Amex Stadium on Saturday propping up the table and without a win since the end of October.

However, Sean Dyche’s side – currently seven points from safety – still hold matches in hand on the teams above them after fixtures were postponed because of Covid-19 issues in the squad.

After holding Manchester United to a draw before being edged out 1-0 at home by Liverpool last weekend, Potter is not about to take Burnley’s challenge lightly.

“This league is so competitive, you only need a few things to go wrong and you can find yourself in trouble,” the Brighton boss said.

“But Sean Dyche is a vastly experienced manager who organises the team really well. They have a fantastic attitude all the time, are a together team and everyone knows what they are doing.

“The reality in the Premier League is that there are a lot of other good teams and it is hard to get points.”

Potter added: “If you draw a few games, miss the wins, maybe pick up a few injuries to key players or you fall behind in the fixture schedule, then you are playing catch-up a bit and it can be tough.

“But Burnley have got the experience, they have got the know-how. I don’t think they will be writing themselves off – and I am certainly not writing them off at all.

“I think they will get points between now and the end of the season – we just have to make sure it is not against us.”

Potter hopes his side can use the disappointment of Tuesday night’s defeat at Old Trafford – where captain Lewis Dunk was controversially shown a red card, having initially been only cautioned – to galvanise them for the different challenge ahead against Burnley.

“We have to try and turn it that way,” said the Brighton boss.

“We have to deal with the result, to analyse the performance and then move forward. That’s what we try to do all the time and I think that consistency can help you.

“We will be playing against an opponent that have had some good performances themselves.

“Against Liverpool they were very, very competitive and against Manchester United they drew, so we have to be good, it is as simple as that.

“We have to get rid of the disappointment from the other night and face a new challenge.”

Potter feels making the most of small differences can continue Brighton’s forward momentum, having pushed themselves up into the top half of the table.

“You have to just try and perform as well as you can, that’s the thing. We have tried to do that for the last couple of years,” he said.

“But you also know that because the level we are at and the opponent’s level, that even with a strong performance, sometimes the moments can turn around.

“As much as we can say ‘we can do a little bit better’, the other night Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal is a higher level than we play at, and that sometimes is the reality of football at this level.

“So the margins and little moments, they have to go your way – with a little bit of luck as well.”

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