November 28, 2023

Brighton boss Graham Potter says there is a calmness around the club that has helped them progress despite losing key players.

The Seagulls began their sixth consecutive season at the top of the division with a historic 2-1 win at Manchester United.

It was the perfect way to start the campaign as they finished last in ninth place, their highest in their history, and came despite losing central midfielder Yves Bishouma to Tottenham and the defender. Marc Cucurella at Chelsea for a total of £87.5 million.

Those departures, which came after highly respected director of football Dan Ashworth was put on gardening leave before taking up a similar role at Newcastle, may have threatened instability at what is acknowledged to be one of the Premier League’s most stable clubs.

But Potter made no bones about it as he reflected on Brighton’s first win at Old Trafford, which comes just three months after Brighton condemned Manchester United to an embarrassing A 4-0 loss at Amex Stadium.

“Losing the players we have has an impact, but internally, the club is pretty calm,” Potter said.

“You have to scratch your head because the clubs that bought Yves Bissouma and Marc Cucurella valued them at quite a high price, which suggests they are good players. And you need good players to win games in the Premier League because it is difficult.

“But I always believe that the collective idea is more important than any individual.”

Marc Cucurella
Marc Cucurella made his Premier League debut for Chelsea on Saturday following his £60m move from Brighton.

The question for Brighton, as for any club of a similar size, is how to continue to progress in a league where six clubs have as much finances and others, such as Newcastle, can call upon a huge supporter base in addition to fresh Saudi investment Arabia.

Brighton may have an excellent, modern pitch, but they are in the bottom third of Premier League capacity. They have invested £20m in a fantastic training ground in Lancing, which is a magnet for potential new signings.

However, as was the case this summer, they are at risk of clubs with bigger budgets following their players, which puts the emphasis on getting them right.

“You have to try to make progress every day and not look too much at the bigger picture,” Potter said. “I have a fantastic group of players here who have ambition and desire and want to progress.

“They give their all every day and I try to help them improve.

“It’s not very easy to lose players, but we understand why we have and how the fees can help the club move forward.

“A club like us has to have two positions; fight every day for points because it’s very difficult, have ambition and believe you can win and try to challenge.”

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