Graham Potter urges Brighton players not to dwell on VAR decisions

Brighton and Hove Albion v Manchester United – Premier League – AMEX Stadium
(Image credit: Glyn Kirk)

Brighton boss Graham Potter does not want his players to feel sorry for themselves if they end up on the wrong end of another VAR controversy against Leicester.

The Seagulls looked on course for a hard-earned point at home to Southampton on Monday night, only to see Danny Ings score a late penalty, which had originally been given as a free-kick by referee David Coote before being reviewed.

The debate over interventions from Stockley Park and the use of pitch-side monitors is set to rumble on into 2021 and beyond.

Potter, though, maintains it is imperative his Brighton players focus on what they can influence rather than looking for any excuses off the pitch.

“You don’t want people feeling sorry for themselves,” Potter said.

“It is easy – if you just blame something else that you can’t control, you are not taking responsibility yourself and looking at how you can improve. That goes for myself and everybody.

“We are here to try to get better, to improve our results, to improve our performance, to be a better football team, a better football player and a better football coach.”

Potter also tries to understand things from the point of view of the officials watching the screens in Stockley Park with multiple angles and slow-motion rather than being in the thick of match action.

“Just because you are a good on-pitch referee does that necessarily translate to being a good VAR referee? Again, I don’t know. I imagine it’s a different skill set,” the Brighton boss said.

“Certain things you have to deal with differently and then how much experience you have on the field.

“Whether being an actual referee helps you with VAR, all these things we properly need to consider over time.

“But that is normal and it is what happens when you do something new.

“What happens when someone overrules, do you overrule VAR? What happens with the hierarchy?

“Let’s say you have a more experienced VAR guy than the on-field referee. Does part of his brain think ‘it is Michael Oliver in VAR, I think I will go with his call’? So it is all of these sorts of things which are going to happen.”

Potter feels how he reacts on the touchline when decisions do not go Brighton’s way can feedback to the players.

“If you are bringing up kids, they follow more what you do than what you say,” said Potter, 45.

“Therefore, if I am screaming and shouting and making a referee the reason for our problems, then maybe we are not taking responsibility for ourselves and thinking how we can improve.

“There will always be mistakes. The important thing is how you react to the mistake and deal with the setback of a mistake or a defeat.”

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