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Graham Potter proud of Brighton’s fighting spirit

Southampton v Brighton and Hove Albion – Premier League – St. Mary’s Stadium
(Image credit: Kieran Cleeves)

Brighton boss Graham Potter has urged his resilient players to maintain their never-say-die attitude and continue scrapping until the final whistle.

Albion head to Everton on Sunday afternoon with an enviable record of having snatched a league-high five points courtesy of added-time goals.

Danny Welbeck’s dramatic header at Chelsea on Wednesday evening meant the Seagulls salvaged 1-1 draws with last-gasp equalisers in each of their three top-flight away games in December.

Head coach Potter is understandably eager for his team to be in more favourable positions approaching the final stages of games but is satisfied to have a relentless spirit to fall back on.

“You’ve got to not get too bogged down with the scoreline, although we know that you’ve got to take it into consideration at a certain point,” he said.

“But it’s about being in the moment, focusing on the thing you’ve got to do, do it to the best that you can – work on the body language, work on how you’re acting on the pitch all the time – and then until that whistle goes there’s always a possibility.

“That’s how we try and think about it.

“Of course, we’d like to be ahead in the game and clear and winning ourselves, that’s obviously the aim.

“But if you’re not, you have to keep fighting.”

In addition to nabbing points at Southampton and Stamford Bridge last month, Brighton also relied on added time to register a late win at Brentford and dramatic draw at rivals Crystal Palace during September.

Albion’s only defeat in nine fixtures on the road this term came at Aston Villa in November.

Speaking about the impressive away form, Potter said: “As a team we’ve been really resilient, we’ve been together, had some quality.

“Our travelling support have really helped us and been fantastic, so a combination of everything, a bit of luck as you need that.

“We need to play well again, to have that same resilience at Goodison Park, a tough place to go.”

The Seagulls have never won at Goodison Park, losing seven times – including four in succession since promotion to the Premier League in 2017 – and drawing twice.

“The past is the past and you can’t do anything about it now,” said Potter, whose side were beaten 2-0 at home by Rafael Benitez’s Toffees in August.

“But there’s always the next day, there’s always a new opportunity and that’s how you look at it, I think – otherwise you’d never progress anything.

“They’re fighting for points, we met them earlier in the season and they deservedly won, we didn’t play well, so we need to do better.”

Leandro Trossard could return to Albion’s squad following a tight hamstring, while fellow forward Jurgen Locadia may be involved after illness.

Seagulls captain Lewis Dunk remains sidelined by a knee injury.

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