Graham Potter proud of ‘amazing’ players as Brighton share points with Wolves

Ed Elliot, PA
·3-min read

Graham Potter hailed the “amazing” response of his players after beleaguered Brighton fought back from two goals down to claim a thrilling 3-3 draw with Wolves.

Struggling Albion looked on course for another damaging Premier League defeat after Romain Saiss’ header, a Dan Burn own goal and Ruben Neves’ penalty put the visitors in complete control following Aaron Connolly’s early opener.

The Seagulls rallied during a vastly improved second-half showing and claimed a share of the spoils courtesy of Lewis Dunk’s header after a Neal Maupay spot-kick.

Potter’s 17th-placed side, who also struck the woodwork through Adam Webster, remain without a home success this term but he was delighted with their fighting spirit.

“It was tough for us at half-time of course because of the scoreline and how the half went,” said the Brighton head coach.

“You’re looking for a response, you’re looking for character, and I thought we got it.

“The players were amazing, great spirit, great personality and quality. We hit the bar and pushed and pushed.”

Lewis Dunk's header earned Brighton a point
Lewis Dunk’s header earned Brighton a point (John Sibley/PA)

The relegation-threatened Seagulls moved three points clear of the bottom three, albeit having played two games more than 18th-placed Fulham.

After Connolly poked them ahead with his first goal at the Amex Stadium in 15 months, things swiftly went downhill.

Saiss soon nodded past Seagulls goalkeeper Robert Sanchez, before the hapless Burn scored at the wrong end and then brought down Adama Traore to allow Neves to score from 12 yards.

Burn’s blushes were spared by Maupay winning and converting a penalty immediately after the restart and captain Dunk heading home from a corner 20 minutes from time.

Potter, whose team have now picked up a solitary win from 15 games, refused to criticise the towering defender, opting to be “proud” of his dedication to improving.

“I think Traore, if you look at him, is one of the hardest players in world football to defend against and Dan Burn a couple of years ago was at Wigan in League One,” he said.

“Rather than be critical of Dan Burn, we should be proud of him because he puts himself there and he gives his best every day.

“It’s easy to be critical in this world but he’s a fantastic professional, a fantastic person.”

Ruben Neves' penalty had put Wolves 3-1 ahead
Ruben Neves’ penalty had put Wolves 3-1 ahead (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Despite dominating the second period, Albion were almost denied their 14th point of a challenging season when unmarked Wolves substitute Owen Otasowie somehow headed over in added time.

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo was frustrated to throw away two points having been in such a commanding position.

However, he would not blame individuals, including vastly experienced midfielder Joao Moutinho, who conceded Maupay’s penalty seconds after the restart.

Asked how disappointed he was, the Portuguese replied: “A lot because I think the first half was very good.

It was a disappointing evening for Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo
It was a disappointing evening for Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo (Gareth Copley/PA)

“We knew that Brighton is going to react and we had to control, and we didn’t do it.

“(It was) disappointing. This game today we must perform much better in the second half.

“I am disappointed with me, with everybody.

“We must do better with everybody. I am not disappointed individually with any of our players.

“In the first half we do a fantastic job and the game goes away.”