Graham Potter backs Brighton to break habit of dropping Premier League points

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Ed Elliot, PA
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Graham Potter is at a loss to explain Brighton’s wretched record of throwing away points from winning positions but has backed his players to break the habit.

Albion have dropped 20 Premier League points after taking a lead – more than any other club in the English top flight – having surrendered an early advantage to lose 2-1 at Manchester United last weekend.

The Seagulls were controversially denied a second-half penalty at Old Trafford and still have work to do to fend off relegation fears.

Manager Potter opted to put a positive spin on the worrying trend, pointing out that rectifying the issue should be sufficient to propel his side away from danger.

“We have done well to get into the positions but of course then the opposition can fight back and it’s small margins in some games,” he said.

“It’s hard to generalise and say it is absolutely about this.

“If you take the most recent game (Manchester United), we just did not play well enough in the second half. We have to be honest enough to say that.

“We did not play well enough to get the points, even though again a slight marginal call (the possible penalty) could have gone our way. That could have seen us get the point but, looking at ourselves, we did not play well enough and that is something we need to try and improve.

“The positive is that we have the potential and the possibility to take more points.

“So looking at it positively, it is quite exciting because if we can take that next step, then clearly that is where the step-up in terms of points comes from.”

Sunday’s setback in Manchester brought to an end a two-game wining run which had boosted Brighton’s chances of beating the drop.

Their quest to guarantee a fifth-successive season in the top flight continues at home to Everton on Monday evening.

Potter is confident the loss to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men has not undone the positivity created by much-needed victories over Southampton and fellow strugglers Newcastle before the international break.

“I wouldn’t say so. It’s highlighted where we’re at and the level we have to be at to take points in the Premier League,” he said.

“We were OK but not as good as I think we can be and that’s what we have to focus on.

“We have to learn from that and make sure we get the maximum level we can out of ourselves in the final eight matches.”