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Brighton have ‘reasons to be cheerful’ despite winless run – Graham Potter

Brentford v Brighton and Hove Albion – Premier League – Brentford Community Stadium
(Image credit: Dominic Lipinski)

Brighton boss Graham Potter has emphasised there are “reasons to be cheerful” despite the team’s current winless streak.

The Seagulls head into Wednesday’s clash against West Ham at the London Stadium having not won in any of their previous eight Premier League matches.

There have been six draws within that sequence, including against Arsenal at the Amex Stadium (0-0) and Liverpool at Anfield (2-2).

At the final whistle in Saturday’s 0-0 home draw with Leeds there were boos from some Brighton fans.

Potter – whose side finished the weekend ninth in the table – reiterated at his press conference ahead of the West Ham match that that reaction had left him “confused”.

And when asked about the winless run, he said: “That’s the Premier League, that’s the competition.

“The important thing is you pick up points when you don’t win. When you look at the league so far, we are above 11 teams, so in the context of the competition, in terms of picking up points, we’re still doing OK.

“Our performance against Leeds was probably one of the best, if not the best, in the Premier League that we’ve had since my time. The last home game (before that), against Newcastle, not so good, the one against Arsenal, probably as good as any performance we’ve had in the Premier League.

“We went away to Liverpool, drew there – again, as positive a performance as I can remember. So there are reasons to be cheerful.”

Brighton were unable to make the most of some good opportunities against Leeds, with a notable example coming early on when Neal Maupay blazed over.

Potter said of the 25-year-old French forward, signed from Brentford in 2019: “He knows on another day he can score but at the same time his performance level was good.

“He doesn’t listen to anything outside of the club. So he’s fine. He wants to help the team and he’s looking forward to the game.”

Potter added: “I would say he’s a complex guy, but a really good guy, and one I really enjoy working with, because he brings out the best in you as a coach.

“He does a lot for the team I think that goes unnoticed. The team performance against Leeds was probably one of the best that we’ve had since my time in the Premier League, and he was part of that performance.

“He could have scored, and on another day he will – he’s scored 22 goals in 82 matches (for Brighton in the league), and in the Premier League that’s not too bad, one in four, certainly when you come from the Championship, that’s a good return, certainly in a team that’s getting 41 points in the first two seasons.

“I know his qualities. He’s a human being, so he’s not perfect, just like me or you, but we’re happy to have him.

“He can be really critical of himself. I think the Premier League brings out the big challenges in yourself as a human being. You have to deal with the scrutiny. If you care a lot, which Neal does, he cares about the team, it’s a challenge for him.

“He’s unique in terms of how he is as a guy, but fundamentally when he’s on the pitch you know what you’re going to get from him.”

Brighton are five points behind David Moyes’ fourth-placed West Ham, who have lost their last two league matches, at Wolves and Manchester City.

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