07 April 2022

Brighton boss Graham Potter recognises growing maturity in striker Neal Maupay

07 April 2022

Brighton head coach Graham Potter believes Neal Maupay’s increased maturity and greater ability to handle setbacks is the “biggest transformation” he has ever witnessed.

Striker Maupay came under scrutiny last weekend after his missed penalty in the goalless draw with rock-bottom Norwich denied out-of-form Albion a first win in seven Premier League games.

The Frenchman has been prone to fiery outbursts and venting his frustration during his time at the Amex Stadium.

Potter spoke late last season of the need to help Maupay curb his explosive temperament and feels the player now copes far better with adversity.

“He’s been fine this week, really good,” said Potter. “I think it’s probably the biggest change in him in terms of how he deals with disappointments and setbacks.

“Obviously for him the weekend would have been a setback personally because he takes responsibility for not having (scored) the penalty and maybe not scoring, which is his type of character.

“Neal has just grown up as a person so he can deal with those setbacks a lot better and that is the Premier League for you, they throw those to you.

“Credit to him, probably the biggest transformation I have seen as a player in terms of how he has dealt with that in my career.”

Top scorer Maupay has not hit the net since a 2-0 success at Watford on February 12 – the last time Brighton won.

Potter thanked Seagulls fans for supporting the 25-year-old following his costly spot-kick failure against the relegation-threatened Canaries.

Albion travel to Arsenal on Saturday sitting 10 points above the drop zone.

Maupay – whose eight top-flight strikes this campaign have included late levellers at Crystal Palace, West Ham and Southampton – claimed both winning goals when Brighton did the double over the Gunners during the 2019-20 season and will be eager for an overdue return to the scoresheet.

“I think the reason why the supporters were so good to him as they recognise how much effort he puts in for the team and how much effort he has put into doing his absolute best for Brighton,” said Potter.

“He’s had some fantastic moments – they (the fans) all remember Crystal Palace away, West Ham away, Southampton away.

“And sometimes you have to remember that and support the guy when he is not having his best day.”

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox