Graham Potter not feeling pressure of winless run but admits ‘it’s not pleasant’

Graham Potter file photo
(Image credit: Adam Davy)

Graham Potter insisted he is not feeling the pressure of Brighton’s 11-game winless streak in the Premier League as he prepares to welcome back a raft of players for the Boxing Day visit of Brentford.

The Seagulls were in the Champions League spots after winning four of their first five top-flight fixtures but their campaign has been disrupted since then, with several key personnel on the sidelines for varying reasons.

Brighton have drawn eight times since last winning on September 19 and sit nine points above the relegation zone at Christmas, so Potter is adamant he is able to contextualise any disappointment at their recent run.

“I don’t feel pressure,” he said. “It’s not pleasant because we’re all human, we want to win. There’s an internal pressure that you want to try and do better and help the team and get that victory.

“But the trick is also to analyse it correctly, put it in perspective to see the situation for what it is because there’s a lot going on behind the results.

“This league can challenge you and you can go sometimes without a win for a while. It’s not ideal, we don’t like it, we’d have preferred it if we’d had a few more Ws recently.

“We haven’t been far away in a lot of the games but at the same time we have to also acknowledge we haven’t been good enough because the results say that.

“But we’ve got 20 points so that’s not the end of the world for us, that’s something to be quite positive about, not jumping over everything but still not the end of the world either.”

Last weekend’s trip to Manchester United was postponed because of a Covid-19 outbreak at the Old Trafford club, affording Brighton, who have also had their own issues with the virus recently, an 11-day break between fixtures.

Pascal Gross and Neal Maupay are expected to be available to face Brentford and although there are still a couple of “Covid-related issues”, Potter confirmed Danny Welbeck is back in contention.

The former Manchester United striker has not featured since September 27 because of injuries and his absence has been felt, with only Wolves and Norwich scoring fewer than Brighton’s 14 goals in the top flight this season.

Potter remarked that instability in the backline caused by injuries to several defenders has contributed to that – even if they have conceded only 17 times this season – although Adam Webster is poised to return after three weeks out with a calf problem.

“We’ve got a lot of people returning,” Potter added. “We’ve been missing Danny Welbeck but we’ve also had quite a disruptive situation at the back as well.

“From pre-season, for different reasons: Covid, injury, illness, suspension, there’s been no Lewis Dunk, no Adam Webster, no Shane Duffy, no Joel Veltman for periods of time.

“In terms of being able to build your attacks and create good chance from our play, that has affected us as well.”

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