Brighton & Hove Albion have no plans to part with head coach Graham Potter, despite their disappointing league form, reports Andy Naylor of The Athletic. The Seagulls are currently 17th in the Premier League table, three points above Fulham who have two games in hand. As well, they haven’t won in the league since a 2-1 win at Aston Villa on November 21.
Graham Potter Safe From Brighton Sacking for Now
Draws Keeping Brighton Alive
In the eight-game period since their last win in the Premier League, Brighton have drawn five matches. This includes a last-minute penalty to rescue a point against leaders Liverpool and scoring twice in the second-half to draw 3-3 at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Those five points collected have done just enough to keep the club’s head above the relegation zone. Disappointingly, though, Potter’s side have also drawn with all three of the teams below them in the table – 1-1 against both Sheffield United and West Bromwich Albion and 0-0 against Fulham.
Two wins from 17 matches would usually lead to a chairman questioning the man in charge, but Tony Bloom’s faith in Potter remains as he tries to stave off the worries of relegation.
Where Does Bloom’s Faith in Graham Potter Come From?
The intention has always been to play the long game with Potter. This is a man who, prior to joining the club, had only one year of management experience in England – his sole season at Swansea City. There, though, he earned many plaudits for bringing through youth players following their relegation from the top flight, something that his replacement, Steve Cooper, has continued to do.
That youthful is something Potter has continued with at Brighton too. Aaron Connolly and Steven Alzate have both spent time in the youth set-up. Ben White, who impressed on loan at Leeds United last season, has slotted straight into the defence upon his return. Alexis Mac Allister has been handed more opportunities this season.
Perhaps most impressive of all has been Tariq Lamptey. Signed from Chelsea last season, he was expected to be a back-up option upon his arrival having made just a total of three appearances for the Blues. He made his debut once the season resumed following the first UK lockdown and hasn’t looked back since, continuing to be an excellent asset for the club.
This focus on youth means Brighton are set up for years to come. Improvement is needed because if they were to be relegated this season, the most valuable of those young players would likely leave and the plan would be scuppered.
However, there is just enough there to suggest Graham Potter can keep them up, and with a few summer additions, Brighton could be a completely different threat next season.