Graham Potter not taking Brighton’s Premier League survival for granted

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Sean Taylor, PA
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Graham Potter has dismissed suggestions Brighton have a comfortable cushion in the battle against relegation and insists his side need more points to ensure their Premier League survival.

Albion’s defeat to relegated Sheffield United on Saturday night was a setback to their hopes of staying up.

They still have the luxury of a seven-point buffer but a daunting run-in which includes games against Leeds, Wolves, West Ham, Manchester City and Arsenal is enough to keep them looking over their shoulders.

“It doesn’t feel comfortable to me because we need more points, it’s as simple as that. And we want to try to get more points,” said the Brighton boss.

“If we had won (at Sheffield United) then of course we look like accumulating quite a decent total, but now we just focus on Saturday.

“It’s not enough because there’s a lot of points to play for. We have to just focus on one game at a time. Every opponent is fighting for something.

“We are at that stage of the season where everyone is fighting for something, even if it is pride like Sheffield United.

“I think all the games we have to play we can be competitive in, and we have proved that, and we have got a chance to get points in all of those games – but equally we could lose. And that’s the beauty of the league and why it is the best league in the world.”

Potter was still sporting a painful looking black eye after a midweek tumble on the beach saw him crash into some metal railings.

On the defeat at Bramall Lane he added: “It’s a different kind of pain when you get smashed by a railing, but there’s pain after this too because it is a step back for us.”

The Blades’ fate was sealed with defeat at Wolves a week ago but they responded to their relegation with a 1-0 victory at Bramall Lane, courtesy of David McGoldrick’s first-half strike.

It was only a fifth Premier League win of the season for the division’s bottom club but it convinced interim manager Paul Heckingbottom his players will continue to give their all in the remaining games, despite having nothing but pride left to play for.

“We know what’s happened, we’re a Championship club next season, but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to give everything between now and the end of the season,” said Heckingbottom.

“We might be planning for next season but we have to pick up points and give performances like that.”

“They (the players) are desperate to still be in the Premier League, even though that can’t be possible, but hopefully people can see the intent and the desire to get back here.

“We know how tough it is, we know how tough it is to get wins. That’s five, we’d love to get six, seven, eight, as many as we can, and we’ve got to give performances like that (against Brighton) if we are to stand a chance.”