Brighton vs West Ham / Graham Potter: Watford was great but now we must improve for West Ham

Graham Potter get his ideas across to the players (BHAFC/Paul Hazlewood)
Graham Potter get his ideas across to the players (BHAFC/Paul Hazlewood)

Brighton manager Graham Potter insists there’s still plenty of room for improvement following their blistering start to the Premier League season at Watford last Saturday.

Three goals and an attack-minded team display delighted fans and surprised many who tipped Brighton to struggle this season.

Potter was clearly pleased to get his Brighton career off to a winning start and hopes to continue their fine start against West Ham at the Amex Stadium tomorrow (Saturday, 3pm)

He said: “It’s not our business to worry about what people on the outside say or predict when you talk about how we’ll do this season.

“That’s part of the industry and we have to just focus on our own work and the players have certainly done that since I’ve been here.

“Their attitude has been fantastic, and you get your rewards, I’ve said we weren’t perfect by any means, but we scored three goals and the side can take great credit for that.

“We’re still only at the start of what we’re trying to do, the reality is we’ve still only been working with one another for a number of weeks.

“That’s normal, you need the competition to start to get true information, and from there you can start looking at performances.

“There’s room for everything to improve and that’s exciting, but the players’ application has been really impressive and is a result of the foundations that were here to begin with.””

New signings Leandro Trossard, Neal Maupay, Adam Webster and Aaron Mooy started on the bench at Watford and they all face an almighty battle to force their way into the starting XI. Potter, however, expects them to play a huge part this season.

“We probably went for Pascal [Gross] instead of Leo [Trossard] because of his experience, but I think he could have felt unlucky not to have started,” said Potter.

“The other three arrived last week and I don’t think it would have been fair for either them or the group as a whole if I had thrown them into this sort of testing environment so early on.

“They’re here for the long-term and so the key is always to use them at the right time.”

West Ham will be the head coach’s first competitive game at the Amex, following the Valencia preseason victory at the start of the month.

Potter said, “I’m relishing it, I had a bit of a taste of it for the friendly game against Valencia, there were 16,000 there and I thought it was a good atmosphere.

“I’m looking forward to a full house for a Premier League game, and of course, we’ll need the supporters to play a part.

“We’re up against a tough side who’ll be looking to push on, we need our fans and they’ve been great so far.

“Hopefully we can give them something to cheer about and reward them for that.”

One of the many players to impress at Watford was defender Dan Burn (left). His performance had some on social media comparing him to Virgil van Dijk.

“I wanted to go out there and prove that I could play at this level,” said Burn. “I thought I played well in pre-season and I will always back myself.

“We’ve got two international centre-halves and we spent £20 million on Webby, so a lot of people may have thought I’d be on the bench.

“All I can do is my best and hope it’s enough.”