Graham Potter hits back at Brighton boos as fans voice frustration at goal-shy players

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  • Graham Potter
    English association football player and manager (born 1975)
Brighton dominated the first half against a lacklustre Leeds  - GETTY IMAGES 
Brighton dominated the first half against a lacklustre Leeds - GETTY IMAGES
  • Hosts miss succession of great chances in first half as they are unable to force the win

  • Leeds look out of sorts but leave with a clean sheet and a hard-fought point

  • Lamptey the star of the show as he dominates down the right flank

Graham Potter has renewed his attack on Brighton fans who booed the side off after their goalless draw with Leeds. The Albion manager criticised the reaction in television interviews immediately after Saturday's game, which left Brighton eighth in the Premier League but still without a win since Sep 19. Potter's irritation was still evident when he was asked to address the fans' reaction an hour later, accusing them of a lack of perspective.

“To get us a point, to put us eighth in the Premier League, above Manchester United and when I look at the history of this football club, I find it hard to understand,” said Potter, whose work with Brighton has made him a target for clubs such as Tottenham and Everton in recent months. “They’re entitled to their opinion, I’m entitled to mine and I totally disagree.

“They pay their money and they can say and do what they want, unfortunately. I have to defend the players. The players today were fantastic. Anybody who watches or who knows anything about football will know the performance that the players put in. If our supporters cannot see that there is nothing I can do to control that. I can still air my views and I can still defend the team. If they want to have a go at me then they can, I’ve no problem with that.”

Brighton ought to have won the game with Neal Maupay particularly egregious in the two first half chances he missed. But there was plenty to be positive about also, not least the electrifying display from Tariq Lamptey and Yves Bissouma’s continuing impressive form in centre midfield.

Speaking of Maupay, who was recalled to the starting line-up, Potter said that “he is a human being and he will be disappointed. He will think he can score those.

“We like to zoom into individuals and we like to blame people, that’s how our society is. We need to remember it is a team game. When you are the striker, one day you are the hero – when he scores in the last minute against Crystal Palace, he is the hero. Today he is the opposite to that. That’s life but from our perspective nothing changes. We still believe in him and we support him.”

Brighton struck the woodwork three times in the match, twice in the first half from Leandro Trossard and Jakub Moder and then late on when Illan Meslier pushed Solly March’s effort against the near post.

At the other end, Leeds posed few problems without Patrick Bamford who remains injured.

They did almost leave Sussex with an improbable win when Robert Sanchez made an excellent save to deny Tyler Roberts’ deflected shot creeping in at the far post.

“We could have lost in the end as well, we come away with a point, the performance was really good,” said Sanchez. “We were quite unlucky that we didn’t put the ball in but I think it was an unbelievable effort, an unbelievable performance which will give us confidence to go into Wednesday’s game (at West Ham).

Brighton's lack of killer instinct in front of goal sees them draw against lacklustre Leeds

Brighton are beginning to revert to type. Just like so much of last season, here they dominated for long spells but lacked the ruthless cutting edge that saw them win their first four games of this campaign.

Chief frustrator was Neal Maupay, recalled to the team but guilty of missing two good chances in the first half, before being withdrawn by Graham Potter halfway through the second.

“He’s a human being and he’ll be disappointed,” said Potter. “It’s just part of football, part of being a striker but he’s a strong character and he’ll bounce back. He’s getting better at thinking about the next thing and I didn’t see anything negative in how he tried for the team and ran for the team.”

This stalemate extends Brighton’s winless league run to eight games, though six of those have been draws, and they now sit eighth in the Premier League. “It’s frustrating but you’ve just got to look at the overall performance from the players, it was fantastic,” said Potter. “We didn’t get the three points but if we maintain that performance level we’ll get the wins, I’m 100 per cent confident of that.”

Leeds had lost their last five visits to Brighton without scoring and remained without their influential striker Patrick Bamford. Albion quickly set about Marcelo Bielsa’s side with Tariq Lamptey winning all of his early foot races with Leeds’s left-back, Junior Firpo.

The first chance came as Lamptey crossed from the byline for Jakub Moder to volley narrowly over the bar. A better chance came via the same route a few minutes later with Lamptey’s cross this time being helped on by Pascal Gross to Maupay at the far post who fluffed his lines.

Kalvin Phillips had started the game at centre-back but Bielsa soon moved him into midfield in an attempt to plug the gaps being exploited by the excellent Yves Bissouma.

Leeds were beginning to gain a foothold as Brighton were inches away from leading. Leandro Trossard collected the ball on the edge of the area and fired into the opposite corner before the slightest of touches from Illan Meslier helped it on to the post.

Ten minutes before half-time, the Seagulls struck that same upright when Moder surged into the left side of the penalty area and hit the stanchion from a tight angle.

Maupay was recalled after a recent stint on the bench and missed another sitter as Lamptey once more rolled the ball across the area and the Frenchman failed to make a clean connection.

The second half was proving more even, though Robert Sanchez remained untroubled in the Brighton goal.

The home crowd were beginning to grow restless and became more so when Moder again fired over the bar after good work from Gross.

Finally Sanchez had something to warm his hands as the biting wind continued to swirl around the Amex. A nicely weighted pass from Diego Llorente created an opening for Tyler Roberts whose low shot was beaten away by Sanchez.

Potter finally lost patience with Maupay and replaced him with Jurgen Locadia, who spent last season on loan at FC Cincinnati. Solly March came on for the final 15 minutes and almost provided the breakthrough when he danced across the area and saw his shot deflect off Pascal Struijk and fly narrowly over.

Sensing a loss of impetus in the home side, Leeds began to press higher. They soon pressured Albion into an error and Roberts once more brought a good save out of Sanchez as he shot from 10 yards.

From the resulting corner, Brighton were further indebted to their stopper as he improbably turned Roberts’s deflected shot round the post as it came at him through a crowd of players.

With three minutes remaining, March had Brighton’s last chance of a winner as he cut in from the left and mishit a shot which rolled against the near post via another crucial touch from Meslier.

“In the first half the differences were very big in their favour,” said Bielsa. “In the second half we managed to play as equals and we defended better. We created chances, not too many and that allowed us to play a more balanced game. I hope the performance in the second half is a starting point for us.”

Brighton & Hove Albion 0 Leeds United 0: As it happened...

07:23 PM

FULL TIME: Brighton 0-0 Leeds

It's all over on the south coast and it's a familiar tale for the hosts. They dominated, were pleasing on the eye, but lacked the killer instinct in front of goal and they end up with yet another draw.

Leeds will be happy to leave with a point - they were lacklustre and by far second best.

07:21 PM

92 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds

Trossard dances into the box before trying to set up March. Meslier comes out well and claims the ball.

07:20 PM

90 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds

There are to be three minutes of injury time added. Enough time for one of these side's to nick a winner...

07:18 PM

89 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds

Meslier, thanks to the post and some good fortune, prevents March's left-footed strike from creeping into the back of the net. That could so easily have gone in off the keeper having initially hit the upright. Perhaps it isn't Brighton's day?

07:16 PM

87 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds

Brighton have had 14 shots off target tonight - that equals the record this Premier League season, matching Arsenal's 14 against Brentford on the opening weekend.

07:15 PM

85 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds

It's Brighton now rocking - Leeds have looked the livelier over the past five minutes.

07:14 PM

82 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds

Great save by Sanchez!

Roberts is played in inside the box and his low, left-footed cross forces the Brighton keeper into a fine stop with his feet. From the resulting corner the hosts' keeper makes an equally good save as a shot is deflected towards the corner of the goal and Sanchez gets down well to his right. That would have been a smash and grab from the visitors.

07:11 PM

81 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds

Last change for the hosts as Moder is replaced by Sarmiento - the Ecuadorian is making his Premier League debut.

07:09 PM

79 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds

Rodrigo finds Roberts with a backheel but the Welshman cannot get a clean shot in on goal.

It's all set up now for a fascinating finale - they've been second best but can Leeds nick a backs-to-the-wall winner?

07:07 PM

76 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds

He's been the best player this evening but Lamptey, still not up to full fitness is replaced by Solly March. His first contribution is an impressive one - he cuts in off the right before unleashing a powerful shot that Meslier does well to tip over the bar.

07:04 PM

75 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds

Bit of a lull in the match with neither side creating much. On the evidence of the first half you would have thought there would be goals in the second period - but it looks as though this game could well end up goalless...

07:00 PM

71 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds

Good work from Bissouma earns Brighton a corner - can they make it count?

The answer is a big, fat no as Leeds clear without much trouble. The set pieces have been poor today.

06:58 PM

67 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds

Brighton make their first change as Maupay is replaced by Locadia. The Frenchman had to fine chances but his return to the side didn't include finding the back of the net.

It wasn't Maupay's day - GETTY IMAGES
It wasn't Maupay's day - GETTY IMAGES

06:54 PM

63 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds

Moder nearly capitalises on a defensive error - Shackleton plays back towards his own goal and his pass is picked up by the Brighton man whose shot is over the bar. He's had a couple of big chances this match and not found the target yet.

06:52 PM

62 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds

Another change from Bielsa as Jack Harrison makes way for Tyler Roberts.

06:52 PM

62 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds

Bissouma's pass in the centre nearly finds Lamptey in the box. There have been fewer clear-cut chances for the hosts this half. Leeds are looking more secure with the back four after the break.

06:49 PM

58 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds

It's getting windier at the Amex, if that's possible, Lamptey and Moder again combine well on the right before they cross. Meslier collects the ball at the second time of asking.

06:47 PM

56 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds

Signs of an improvement from Leeds - they again attack down the left before Rodrigo shoots over the bar from just outside the box.

06:44 PM

54 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds

Better from the visitors. Dallas and Harrison combine well on the left before the former unleashes a fierce shot that forces Sanchez to punch clear. That's the first time the returning keeper has really been called into action.

06:41 PM

50 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds

The resulting set piece - 10 yards from the byline on the right - is punched clear by Meslier.

06:41 PM

49 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds

Brighton have again started the brighter of the two, they are passing the ball around crisply and the only thing that's missing is that elusive first goal. They have two corners on the trot, the second of which goes long before Veltman finds Lamptey, who passes to Trossard. They Belgian wins a free kick.

06:38 PM

47 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds

Leeds just weren't able to get into that first half, they have to find a foothold in this match sooner rather than later.

06:36 PM

45 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds

They're back under way at Brighton, Firpo, tormented by Lamptey in the first 45 is off and replaced by Jamie Shackleton and Kalvin Phillips, who had one of his quieter games (as did most of the Leeds side) is off for Pascal for Struijk.

06:26 PM

As I was saying...

06:24 PM

Lamptey has been the standout player so far

06:19 PM

HALF TIME: Brighton 0-0 Leeds Utd

Somehow it's still 0-0 even though Brighton have had all the chances and most of the possession. They've looked by far the more dangerous of the two sides and the challenge for them now to to try and repeat that in the second half and hope to find that elusive goal. Leeds have been run ragged so far.

06:17 PM

44 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds Utd

Wabster plays a delightful ball down the inside-right channel for the ever-impressive Lamptey whose cross fails to find a team-mate in the box.

06:14 PM

42 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds Utd

A free kick for Brighton, just outside the box on the right, sees Llorente go down under a challenge. He looks in a bit of bother and as it's a head injury the match is stopped while the Leeds man is seen to.

06:12 PM

40 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds Utd

Moder this time gets in behind the Leeds defence on the right. He plays in the ball which Cooper intercepts and in doing so touches the ball with is hand. Referee Pawson waves play on as you don't get penalties for those.

06:09 PM

37 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds Utd

Another great chance for Brighton after more great work from Lamptey on the right. This time Maupay cannot get enough of the ball as his shot is glanced well wide. Brighton should be at least two goals to the good by now...

06:06 PM

35 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds Utd

Moder drives into the box, getting to the byline before his shot-cum-cross hits the post.

06:05 PM

33 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds Utd

Moder is on the right and plays a simple ball to the inside right channel for Trossard whose shot is saved at the second attempt by Meslier in the Leeds goal. The hosts have created a fair few chances this half.

06:02 PM

31 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds Utd

Harrison has two crosses in a matter of 60 seconds that Brighton clear without too much fuss - Leeds need to get him into the match more.

06:00 PM

29 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds Utd

It's a swing and a miss from Dan James as Leeds make a rare foray into the Brighton box. The Welshman has been isolated up front on his tod so far this match.

05:59 PM

27 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds Utd

Bissouma receives the ball just inside the Leeds box, it takes an early shot which is high, wide and not so handsome.

05:57 PM

25 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds Utd

A Trossard foul gives Leeds another free kick - this time just outside the box on the right. Raphinha's kick deflects off the wall and the ball is diverted to the back post but James cannot get a shot in on goal.

05:55 PM

23 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds Utd

Free kick for Leeds in the Brighton half - a chance to create something. Alas the ball is hit directly into touch (much in the way you'd expected a fly half to kick for territory in rugby) and it's a Brighton throw...

05:52 PM

19 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds Utd

Lamptey, very impressive so far, gets in another cross from the right which hits Cooper. The Brighton players appeal for hand ball but it's not given. In the follow up Trossard gets the ball in the box and hits a clean shot in on goal - it's destined for the top corner until Meslier gets a fine fingertip on it, deflecting the ball onto the post.

05:50 PM

18 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds Utd

There's been plenty to admire about Brighton during this opening spell - easy on the eye but they've lacked the cutting edge in front of goal so far. Will they rue those two missed chances?

05:48 PM

16 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds Utd

Leeds are now feeling their way into the game, stringing a few passes together.

Maupay then goes to ground in the area after a challenge from Cooper, there's nothing in it and Craig Pawson understandably waves play on.

05:46 PM

15 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds Utd

Raphinha dances his way into the box, Trossard is beaten and the Brazilian goes down. Play is waved on but the Belgian did stick out a leg as he fell over, it looks accidental, but they have been given. VAR doesn't intervene.

05:43 PM

13 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds Utd

Raphinha eventually gets in the game - Leeds need to find their Brazilian star a lot today. He comes in off the right and plays a ball into the box, but James cannot get on the end of it.

05:42 PM

11 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds Utd

Maupay, doubtless still thinking about that miss, has a dig from outside the box and Meslier easily saves.

05:41 PM

9 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds Utd

Leeds just cannot get into the match - Brighton have had all the possession and the visitors have barely strung a series of passes together.

05:40 PM

5 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds Utd

Brighton are dominating the early exchanges - they are passing the ball around well and causing the visitors some problems. They look confident and as I type they again attack down the right, Lamptey gets in behind the Leeds defence before putting in a low cross that eventually ends up at the feet of Maupay. But the returning striker never looked like scoring and side foots the ball over from all of four yards. That's two great chances missed already by the hosts.

05:36 PM

2 mins: Brighton 0-0 Leeds Utd

Early chance for the hosts - great build up by Brighton sees Lamptey put in a peach of a cross from the right which Moder meets first time on the volley. The attempt, however, goes over the bar.

05:32 PM

1 min: Brighton 0-0 Leeds Utd

Both sides play attractive football and if the table was about mere aesthetics both would be near the top of the league. We're under way on the south coast, it's windy and cold, the worst conditions to play in.

05:30 PM

The teams are out on the pitch

Leeds are in their away strip which is a shade of the lesser seen colour, parma violet. Cannot see the chant 'come on the parma voilets' catching on...

05:23 PM

Leeds fans look away now...

05:13 PM

Remembering Gary Speed

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the death of Gary Speed. The Welsh midfielder was much loved at every club he played. One of those was Leeds, where he was a vital part of the midfield that helped the side to the 1992 top-flight title. The Leeds players and fans are remembering their former star and hero by wearing t-shirts honouring Speed.

Kalvin Phillips wearing his Gary Speed t-shirt - PAUL TERRY 
Kalvin Phillips wearing his Gary Speed t-shirt - PAUL TERRY

05:08 PM

Graham Potter speaks.

On Maupay returning to the side...

"Neal is chomping at the bit to play, he's been good in training. I am looking forward to seeing the team play."

On Brighton's winless run...

"It's a game of fine margins, sometimes things go for you sometimes they don't."

04:57 PM

The Leeds XI in black and white

LEEDS XI TO FACE BRIGHTON: Meslier, Llorente, Cooper, Firpo, Dallas, Forshaw, Phillips, Harrison, James, Raphinha, Rodrigo

Replacements: Klaesson, Roberts, Struijk, Gelhardt, Cresswell, Klich, McCarron, Shackleton, Jenkins

Leeds fans will be happy to see Raphinha and Rodrigo return to the starting lineup after illness and injury, with Junior Firpo also in from the ref's whistle.

Raphinha is back for Leeds today - GETTY IMAGES
Raphinha is back for Leeds today - GETTY IMAGES

04:51 PM

The Brighton XI in black and white

BRIGHTON XI TO FACE LEEDS: Sanchez, Dunk, Webster, Veltman, Cucurella, Lamptey, Bissouma, Moder, Gross, Trossard, Maupay

Replacements: Steele, Mac Allister, Mwepu, Lallana, March, Duffy, Locadia, Richards, Sarmiento

So Sanchez is back in goal after his one-game suspension, with Neal Maupay and Joel Veltman also returning to the starting XI.

Robert Sanchez is back in between the posts for the hosts - ACTION IMAGES 
Robert Sanchez is back in between the posts for the hosts - ACTION IMAGES

04:41 PM

Brighton backing the Rainbow Laces campaign today

04:35 PM

Here be Leeds

04:34 PM

Here's the Brighton XI

04:24 PM

Stat attack

  • Brighton have won eight of their last nine league games against Leeds, achieving the double over today's opponents in the Premier League last season.

  • Leeds have lost their last five away league games against Brighton without scoring a single goal, while their last away league win against the south coast side was back in November 2009 in League One (3-0).

  • Having won four of their first five Premier League games this season, Brighton are now winless in their last seven (D5 L2) - only bottom side Newcastle (12) are on a longer current run without a win.

  • In their first eight Premier League games this season, Brighton conceded just five goals (0.6 per game) and faced just 21 shots on target (2.6 per game). In their last four, the Seagulls have conceded nine goals (2.3 per game) and faced 23 shots on target (5.8 per game).

  • Only Burnley (14) and Newcastle (12) have dropped more points from winning positions than Leeds (10) in the Premier League this season. It's four more points than they dropped in the whole of last season (6).

04:15 PM

Graham Potter calls for Brighton to get back to winning ways

Graham Potter would gladly take an ugly win over Leeds on Saturday to help kick-start Brighton's Premier League campaign.

The Seagulls were flying high earlier in the campaign following four wins in the opening five league games.

The last of those, however, came back on September 19, since when Brighton have drawn five - notably 2-2 at Anfield - and lost twice, beaten last weekend at Aston Villa in Steven Gerrard's first match in charge.

Brighton were held 1-1 by Newcastle in their previous match at the Amex Stadium before the international break.

Potter knows it is a run which must be broken sooner rather than later - and by any means.

"It (recent home form) sums up where we have been this year - the good, the bad and I wouldn't say the ugly, but the not so fantastic," the Brighton boss said.

"We want to try and keep improving, we have done a lot of things well, but there is always room to improve and the next game gives you that opportunity.

Graham Potter  - PA
Graham Potter - PA

"It is going to be a good game with the way Leeds play, an exciting and an interesting one to watch, so we will need our supporters and we will give it our best."

Leeds head to the south coast in need of a confidence boost themselves.

Sunday's defeat at Tottenham left Marcelo Bielsa's side in 17th, just two points above the drop zone.

Potter, though, will not underestimate the performance levels needed in Saturday's late kick-off.

"The thing with Leeds is it is so authentic, so clear and they have had an amazing journey with Marcelo there.

"A big club like Leeds United with that support and belief behind them, they are always going to be a fantastic opponent in the Premier League.

"It is a game you have to look forward to - you know what you are going to get, an intensity that is really impressive and you have to stand up to that."

Former Ostersunds and Swansea boss Potter marked a century of games in charge of Brighton last weekend.

The 46-year-old remains very much focused on meeting the next set of challenges head on.

"You have got to try and be in the moment, got to work with perspective all the time and also be grateful for the experience you are having," Potter said.

"You understand about the external noise around the Premier League, which I think is quite unique.

"It is the challenge of the league in terms of how hard it can be to get wins and how you need to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

"So you need to keep positive, need to keep believing in what you are doing because it is not like you are winning every other week.

"With international breaks, you can go a long time (without winning), so that is the test of character which makes you grow as a person and I am grateful for the experience."


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