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Graham Potter questions Brighton expectations

Everton v Brighton and Hove Albion – Premier League – Goodison Park
(Image credit: Alex Livesey)

Brighton manager Graham Potter feels his side are being unfairly judged.

The Seagulls have collected just five points from their opening six games, even if performances have been encouraging, and there was some criticism after they drew 1-1 with West Brom on Monday.

But Potter is not sure where the expectations of his side have come from.

“The biggest thing for me to understand is that we are in the Premier League, as I understand it we are Brighton, unless I have missed something, we haven’t been at this level for too long in our history,” he said.

“We are fighting every day to be here and we have no divine right to win a football game. So we can’t be putting ourselves under any pressure.

“Most of the supporters understand the history of the club and where we have come from. A few others expect us to win just because we are Brighton, I’d like them to explain that to me.

“Results-wise we are a little bit disappointed, but with a certain amount of perspective. Performance-wise we are three quarters of the way there, but we need to carry on improving.

“We need to understand that any game at this level we have to fight for everything. I am sure the players understand that.”

Brighton have played Chelsea, Manchester United and Everton so far and things do not get any easier at the weekend as they play Tottenham on Sunday night.

Spurs have looked one of the better teams in the first few weeks of the season, so Potter is expecting a tough game.

“I have been really impressed with them, they are as good as anyone I have seen this year,” he said. “Really strong, real clarity and really good how they build up, attack and defend.

“Son (Heung-min) and (Harry) Kane have been really good, but then they have got other players.

“They have got some tremendous quality, with Gareth Bale coming back. (Jose) Mourinho is a top coach, up there with anyone in football ever for what he has done, I have a lot of respect for him. The critics I listen to less of. We are expecting a really tough game.”

The Seagulls could have Davy Propper back after he returned to training this week, but Alireza Jahanbakhsh is still out.

On Propper, the boss added: “He is getting better and better, getting closer, there is an outside chance of being involved with the squad at the weekend, so that is good for him and us.”