Graham Potter happy at ‘ambitious’ Brighton after links to Everton job

Potter is contracted to the Seagulls until 2025.

Ed Elliot
Monday 17 January 2022 14:57
Graham Potter’s Brighton are ninth in the Premier League (Gareth Fuller/PA)
Graham Potter’s Brighton are ninth in the Premier League (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Brighton boss Graham Potter insists he is very happy at one of the Premier League’s “best-run clubs” amid reports linking him with the vacant Everton job.

The Toffees are searching for a new manager after sacking Rafael Benitez following just one win from 13 top-flight games.

Potter, whose contract runs until the summer of 2025, has impressed since arriving at the Amex Stadium in 2019 and has the Seagulls flying high in ninth place ahead of Tuesday’s visit of Chelsea.

“I can’t comment on speculation, things that are out there in the newspapers,” he said.

“I’m focused on my job here, very happy here at, in my opinion, one of the best-run football clubs in the Premier League, with a fantastic owner, chairman, CEO, sports director.

“(There are) great people at the club, a nice environment to work in, an ambitious club, so I just get on with my job here and do my best.”

Everton sit just six points above the relegation zone following Saturday’s 2-1 loss at Norwich – nine points below Brighton.

Former Ostersunds and Swansea boss Potter has been connected to a number of other clubs during his time on the south coast, including Tottenham and Newcastle

The 46-year-old also came under pressure in the job last season after Brighton failed to win any of their opening 10 top-flight home matches.

While many within the game regard him as one of most talented English managers, Potter believes his growing reputation is down to a collective effort.

Asked if he was flattered by the rumoured interest, Potter replied: “No, not really.

“It’s just the speculation or people want to write something.

“The reality is I’m at a really good football club that helped me. I’m not here because I’m that good, it’s because I’m at a good club and I have good support.

“I have people that allow me to do my job, that give me support, give me trust and these things are important, there’s an organisation around the club.

“The reality of it is we’re not as good as people think; we’re probably not as bad as people think as well when things aren’t going so well.

“You just can’t help what people write or put out there.”

Defender Shane Duffy (ankle) and midfielder Adam Lallana (hamstring) are major doubts to face Chelsea, while captain Lewis Dunk (knee) and midfielders Enock Mwepu (hamstring) and Yves Bissouma (international duty) remain unavailable.

Full-back Tariq Lamptey is fit to take on his former club after a slight groin issue restricted him to a second-half cameo during Friday’s 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace.

The England Under-21 international has established himself as one of the league’s hottest young properties since swapping Stamford Bridge for Sussex two years ago.

Despite receiving a reported fee of just £3million, Potter does not believe the European champions have reason to rue the transfer.

“Sometimes these things happen,” said Potter. “Chelsea have been very successful, they won the Champions League, so I don’t think they’ve got anything to be regretful of.

“It’s part of football, part of life.

“I’m sure there’s a lot of respect on both sides for Tariq now: he’s done a brave thing in terms of leaving somewhere that he was safe.

“Credit to him for that but also credit to Chelsea, they’ve got a fantastic model and they’re also successful.”

Chelsea are the only current Premier League club that Brighton are yet to beat since promotion in 2017.

Albion secured a 1-1 draw away to the Blues less than three weeks ago and Potter believes his side have never been fearful going into meetings with elite clubs.

“I think we’ve always had ambition in the games,” said Potter.

“If you look back, we’ve had results against the big teams.

“The reality of it is, if they play well and they have a good day, it’s difficult for us. But we have to try to compete on the night.”

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