Brighton boss Graham Potter hails Burnley ahead of Premier League opener!

Brighton & Hove Albion boss Graham Potter wasn't short of superlatives when it came to addressing Burnley's success in the Premier League.

Saturday, 14th August 2021, 6:30 am
Graham Potter, Manager of Brighton and Hove Albion greets Sean Dyche, Manager of Burnley prior to the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Burnley FC at American Express Community Stadium on September 14, 2019 in Brighton, United Kingdom.

The Clarets – and boss Sean Dyche – were eulogised during the AMEX Stadium chief's pre-match briefing on Thursday.

Potter, 46, declared his respect and admiration for Saturday's opponents, who will embark on a sixth successive season in the top flight.

He said: "Every so often you’re fighting to stay in the Premier League, and that's why they're still there.

Graham Potter, Manager of Brighton and Hove Albion greets Sean Dyche, Manager of Burnley prior to the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Burnley FC at American Express Community Stadium on September 14, 2019 in Brighton, United Kingdom.

"They have that mentality, they have seasons where they'll do better than others and that's football, that's what it is.

"They're a really good example – they've got stability, they've got an understanding. They've got really, really good players that I think are underrated, who have done a fantastic job.

"They're really, really efficient in terms of what they do and how they play. They don’t get the respect that they deserve.

"From our perspective, we've got huge admiration for what they do, how they do it, the job they've done."

Chris Hughton's heir in Falmer, who is due to oversee his third of the Seagulls' five consecutive campaigns at this level, continued to wax lyrical about their hosts this weekend.

The ex-Swansea City manager, who was capped for England's Under-21s as a player, didn't hold back in his praise for Burnley's star men while, at the same time, recognising the side's threat as a collective.

"Resources aren’t big, but they've got stability, they've got continuity," said Potter. "They've got knowhow and togetherness. They've got things that are really, really important. It's going to be tough.

"They don't get the sort of credit or respect they deserve. If you look at them and go through their team, the goalkeeper [Nick Pope], how they defend the box, how much that affects the strength of their psyche.

"The two fullbacks, whichever they pick, are Premier League footballers. It’s the same for [Ashley] Westwood and [Jack] Cork in midfield, they’re really good players. Any two from four strikers can cause you damage in the Premier League."

He continued: "They probably haven't got the X-Factor, that bit of magic that the top teams have. But as the attacking force with [Dwight] McNeil and [Josh] Brownhill, the way they want to play on the sides, football sometimes focuses on individuals.

"But as a collective, they're really, really strong and they know what they're doing. There's a benefit of stability. There's a benefit of being together for a long time and knowing each other's game."

Potter has come out on top in one of his four meetings with Dyche, who has yet to prevail against the former Östersund head coach.

While the pair have shared three stalemates in those head-to-heads, there hasn't been anything to separate the two sides in eight of the last 11 games.

The ex-Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion full back might have the edge in points returned in this fixture, but that didn't prevent him from tipping his hat to his opposite number.

"Sean has done a fantastic job, is a great manager, is great at managing people, organizing these teams so that we know we're in for a tough game," he finished.

"I think you absolutely can [learn from him]. I've only had brief chats with Sean and I like his company.

"You've got to respect what he's done, to put together a team that has competed at the level for as long as they have in the Premier League.

"He’s had a fantastic career, different experiences with ups and downs. It looks like he remains fairly calm, fairly consistent, understands the strengths, understands what he's trying to do with Burnley.

"That's football management. And he does it really, really well."