'We could have gone under,' Graham Potter proud of Brighton players after Watford draw

Graham Potter saw his Brighton side battle back to claim a vital point against Watford
Graham Potter saw his Brighton side battle back to claim a vital point against Watford

Brighton and Hove Albion manager Graham Potter believes the spirit his players displayed against Watford can help keep them in the Premier League.

Brighton looked to be on their way to defeat after Abdoulaye Doucoure put the Hornets ahead, but for the second match in a row, Brighton battled back to seal a point against a relegation rival.

Nigel Pearson said his team should have been better in possession at Brighton

Nigel Pearson said his team should have been better in possession at Brighton

Albion were struggling to breakthrough Nigel Pearson's organised Watford team but the equaliser arrived on 78 minutes when Adrian Mariappa's turned Alireza Jahanbakhsh's low cross into his own net.

It was a stroke of good fortune for Albion who also came back from 3-1 down last weekend to draw at West Ham.

Brighton boss Potter said, "We gave a lot in the game, it was difficult to go behind when we had started quite well and were in the ascendancy.

"The crowd got a little nervous and the atmosphere is difficult. I'm proud of the players because we took responsibility of the game. The character they showed, they accepted the challenge because you could go under at that point - it's not easy to be the one that has to find the answers.

"Aaron Mooy had a good chance before we scored, it's an own goal but it's a good attack.

"We were down on the scoreline, the lads desperately want to get points, get the win, we showed maturity. It's not easy in the Premier League when you are down. I am really proud of the players.

"Every point is what it is and we have to take it. We will look to move forward, take a break now and move forward for Sheffield United."

Brighton remain without a win or a clean sheet in 2020 but the point lifts them three above the drop zone and three above Watford.

Pearson said, "We scored a really good goal in the first half but we didn't really play well enough at times. We played a side that is possession-based and Ben Foster has only made one save. They've not really caused us a lot of problems.

"It's probably a missed opportunity but it's also a hard-earned point. We've played better than that in our last two games, we worked exceptionally hard out of possession but we've got to be better in possession. I'll be reminding the players regularly about what's expected.

"If you thought it was easy to negotiate a relegation battle, it's not. We've got players who have played quite a bit of football and perhaps didn't reach the levels we've done recently.

"We've got belief and I expect us to push on when we come back from the winter break. The players understand what is needed and we have to push on from here.

"Two months in, we're in contact. Teams know they'll have a tough game against us and it's very much in our own hands."