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‘We’re not playing basketball’ says Graham Potter

Brentford v Brighton and Hove Albion – Premier League – Brentford Community Stadium
(Image credit: Dominic Lipinski)

Brighton boss Graham Potter insisted “we’re not playing basketball” as he defended his misfiring side’s lack of goals.

Albion have hit the net just once in their last seven Premier League outings, picking up a solitary point and sliding into the bottom half of the table in the process.

The Seagulls had 31 attempts during last weekend’s frustrating goalless draw with rock-bottom Norwich but 27 were off target, including Neal Maupay’s wayward first-half penalty.

Potter, whose team have managed only 26 top-flight goals all season – the third lowest tally in the division, hopes that total can be boosted on Saturday during a trip to Champions League-chasing Arsenal.

“You guys (the media) speak about it a lot and I think it’s normal to speak about it but football generally, as I understand the game, it’s 90 minutes and it’s quite low scoring,” the head coach said of the lack of goals.

“Generally most people have a challenge with scoring goals. That’s the game of football; we’re not playing basketball.

“In training you see the quality of the players but also you understand that the Premier League has Premier League defenders and it’s a low scoring game.

“I think there are probably a handful of people that can make the difference in the Premier League, that can score and do something.

“So if there’s a handful of people that means that the rest haven’t got that and you have to find a way: struggle, get a bit of luck, maximise everything you can to try to score – and that’s what we will try to do.”

Opponents Arsenal are seeking to revive their own fortunes after Monday evening’s 3-0 hammering at London rivals Crystal Palace dented their top-four aspirations.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta was named Premier League manager of the month for March before crashing back to earth at Selhurst Park.

Yet Potter is not reading too much into that one-sided result against Patrick Vieira’s Eagles.

Watford v Brighton and Hove Albion – Premier League – Vicarage Road

Arsenal are next up for Graham Potter and Brighton (PA)

“You sit there knowing it’s a Monday night at Selhurst Park; it’s going to be different to a Saturday afternoon at the Emirates,” said Potter.

“The crowd get involved there so it’s going to be a tough game. Crystal Palace had a good game, but you could see the quality that Arsenal had, even if it wasn’t one of their stronger performances.

“Mikel was manager of the month and that’s often a bit of a curse as well, previous to that it’s been very impressive with performances and results.

“You have to zoom out of it from just that game against Palace and understand just how good Arsenal are and what they do.

“We won’t necessarily focus just on the game at Selhurst Park.”

Defender Adam Webster, who has not featured since mid-February due to injury, could return  to Albion’s squad at Emirates Stadium but will not start.

Midfielders Adam Lallana (hamstring) and Moises Caicedo (illness) may also be involved in north London.

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