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Graham Potter keeps focus on Brighton rather than VAR decisions

Graham Potter File Photo
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

Brighton boss Graham Potter intends to keep focusing on himself and his players rather than referees and VAR.

Last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace saw the hosts score a penalty awarded when Tariq Lamptey was judged to have fouled Michy Batshuayi by referee Stuart Attwell, who was backed by VAR.

After the game Potter questioned the decision, saying when he had seen the incident live he had felt it was “a little bit soft”.

He said: “I have no expectations of the referees when it comes to VAR. I think that is probably the best thing, then you are not surprised or disappointed.”

When asked ahead of Monday’s home clash with West Brom about that comment and whether having that view made his job more difficult or stressful on a match day, Potter said: “I think it is more of a choice really.

“You watch it all week and over the weekend, there is always something going on with VAR and the referee and I don’t think that will ever change – before VAR it was the referee and the linesman. It’s just another thing.

“From my perspective, I can choose to worry so much about that, or I just carry on and let them get on with it.

“I think once the referee gives the penalty then it is hard for VAR to overrule it – I am sort of all right with that to be honest because I would rather the referee make the decision on the day.

“Sometimes when you watch it live you get all het up and you start to think it is the referee and VAR’s fault and everything else, but I can’t control them, I can’t do anything about them, I can’t affect their performance necessarily.

“I’ve just got to focus on myself and the players and that’s the only way I think we can have any sanity as a coach, as a team.”

Brighton skipper Lewis Dunk will miss Monday’s contest as the defender starts a three-game ban after being red-carded late on in the Palace match.

“He has been our captain, he is a really important player, a really important person for us, so on that level, of course, he is a miss,” Potter said.

“But at the same time that is what you have a squad for. We have good players who want to play and are waiting to try to help the team so it gives us those options.

“There’s a bit of flexibility there in terms of a back four or back three (the formation Brighton had against Palace), and we can make that decision later on.

“But I have been happy with how the team has been functioning recently and the performances have been good, so (we are) reluctant to change too much.

“Clearly there is not another Lewis Dunk in our squad because he is our captain and is a bit unique but that means you have to find a different solution, more of a collective solution.”