Graham Potter admits he struggles to handle criticism from Brighton fans

Ed Elliot, PA
·2-min read

Brighton boss Graham Potter admits he finds it hard to handle criticism from fans and insists he pays no attention to social media as it would be “dangerous” to do so.

Potter has come under growing pressure from sections of Albion’s fanbase, particularly online, following a miserable 2020 which brought just five Premier League wins.

The Seagulls registered only one top-flight home victory in that time and are perilously hovering above the relegation zone ahead of starting the new year against Wolves on Saturday.

“I understand that while results are what they are, then people can have a different opinion and I respect that. That is football, that is life, we’re not always going to agree,” said Potter.

“It is hard when people from your own club criticise you, I think. That is hard. But you have to respect that because they care for the club, they want it to do well, and that is also fair.

“I don’t go on social media – I think that’s quite dangerous for someone in my position.

“Obviously I answer questions from you guys (the media) and you get a sense of the narrative.

“With any criticism you have to understand: Is it fair? Is it unfair? Is it educated? Or is it just an opinion? Is it balanced? Where has it come from? Sometimes criticism is fair. Sometimes it isn’t.

“I am not sitting here thinking I know everything and get everything right. That’s not how I think the world works.”

Potter was heavily criticised online in midweek when he opted not to pick a recognised striker to start the 1-0 loss to Arsenal.

That defeat left Albion with only 13 points from 16 fixtures, an average of 0.81 points per game which, if maintained over the course of the season, would almost certainly result in relegation.

Potter guided the Seagulls to a club-record 41 Premier League points in his first season in Sussex.

Despite current problems and having plenty of work to do in 2021, he is “proud” of his achievements on the south coast and says feedback from his meetings with fans has been largely positive.

“The supporters that I meet and bump into, they have been amazing, they really have,” said Potter, who left Swansea to succeed Chris Hughton in May 2019.

“There are a lot of Brighton supporters that are intelligent, know the game, can see where we are at, they can see the picture, see the development, and they have been really, really supportive.

“I am proud of what I have done this year, I am proud of a lot of what has been achieved at this club.

“And I am very, very grateful for the players and the staff that we have got because I have really enjoyed my time here.”