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Graham Potter tells Brighton players to be ‘aware of their responsibilities’

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

Graham Potter warned his Brighton team to be “aware of their responsibilities” over the festive period with Covid-19 case numbers rising and wreaking havoc on the Premier League schedule.

Brighton have had two matches fall through this month because of outbreaks at Tottenham and Manchester United while Potter revealed the Seagulls still have a couple of “Covid-related issues” for the Boxing Day visit of Brentford.

Potter is reluctant to straitjacket anyone but does not want his options limited as Brighton prepare to embark upon three games over an eight-day period, seeking to snap a winless top-flight run stretching back to September 19.

“Well, you have to trust that they are adults, they are human beings with families,” he said. “They have got lives but they are also here in the situation that we are in.

“They have to be aware of their responsibilities. So, it’s not just leaving it to them but helping them as well to understand the position we are all in.

“They have done really well with that so far. Human beings can sometimes make mistakes. We will try to help them not make so many.”

Pascal Gross and Neal Maupay are expected to be available to face the Bees while former Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck is in contention again, having been on the sidelines since September 27 because of injuries.

While Adam Webster has returned to training, fellow defender and club captain Lewis Dunk will be out of action until at least the middle of next month, with injuries and suspensions often disrupting their backline this term.

Yet they have only conceded 17 times in their 16 matches so bolstering the defence or recalling the likes of young duo Michal Karbownik or Jan Paul Van Hecke from loan spells is not a prime concern for Potter.

“It’s not an area we’re looking to strengthen because of the players we have, but you never know what the window does, so it’s not completely disregarded, but it isn’t a priority,” Potter said.

“The loans, you’ve got to look whether it’s right for them to be recalled, whether it’s possible for them to be recalled. In that situation I can’t see anything changing really.”

Potter is full of sympathy for Brighton and Brentford fans heading to the Amex Stadium this weekend, with the fixture not kicking off until 8pm.

“I feel for the supporters,” he added. “I’m not sure it is the best time if I am being polite! It is a lot for them in terms of the challenges they will have in getting to the ground.

“I understand the club has done a really good job in terms of help in trying to help get them there, travel plans. But clearly it is not the best.

“As a supporter you want to be there at 3pm or midday. Get a bit of air, have a day at the football but it is not to be. But I’m sure that the guys that are there are the ones that will support us, they always do.”

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