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Brighton and Hove Albion

New Brighton & Hove Albion boss Graham Potter ready for Premier League challenge

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Graham Potter has admitted that imposing his style of football will be a ‘challenge’ as he aims to ‘understand the players and help them improve’.

New Brighton and Hove Albion boss Potter understands the challenges ahead of him and remains realistic in the wake of signing his first Premier League contract, but is optimistic that he can succeed at Brighton. He said: “That’s going to be the challenge. As always, you’ve got to convince the players, you’ve got to convince the environment that you can succeed. My job is to quickly understand the strengths of the players to try and help them improve but there’s no doubt that the Premier League is so competitive and so tough.

“Anybody can beat you on the day, that’s the reality of the league, but I think at the same time, what’s great about football, is that you can also win. We need to try and develop a team that understands that, that has that humility and respect for the game and then just work really hard at improving how we want to play football. “

Potter joins Brighton from Swansea City after a single season at the Welsh side and feels that moving to the Premier League poses the biggest challenge for him and his team. He said: “The Premier League is the big challenge, the competition. That’s what it is. You can talk all you want about philosophy and identity, all these words, but ultimately, it’s a competition.

“We have to be competitive; we have to try to go into every game understanding what we need to do to win, and we are playing against some of the best teams in the world. So the biggest challenge is the competition, but then it’s to keep it nice and simple, to try and improve every day and be honest enough and take responsibility for that.”

The new manager went on to discuss the determination he has to succeed in his fresh challenges, insisting that he will do all he can to ‘deliver success’ but knows it is a team effort. He said: “Nothing is easy in football. We’re here to take on this challenge and we’re excited by it. It’s not easy, I don’t expect it to be, I expect it to be really tough, but that’s why you take these challenges on. I was really impressed by what these guys were talking about. There will be bumps in the road along the way but it’s about sticking together and achieving something that we’re all really proud of.”

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Brighton and Hove Albion pencil in behind-closed-doors friendly with Portsmouth

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Pompey have pencilled in a behind-closed-doors friendly with Brighton.

The Blues are awaiting confirmation to meet the Premier League club at their Lancing-based training ground on Tuesday, July 23.

If approved, it will be staged in the early afternoon – with a Pompey XI booked in to face Aldershot that evening (7.30pm).

A similar arrangement was organised last summer, with the match finishing 1-1, Brett Pitman netting for the visitors.

On that occasion, the meeting involved three 25-minute periods, rather than the conventional 90-minute game.

SEE ALSO How Brighton COULD line-up in the Premier League this season – if these transfer rumours are true | Brighton transfer round-up: Leandro Trossard update; Shane Duffy reveals Lewis Dunk hope
It is understood the same format could be employed for July’s encounter.

That arrangement allowed both sides to extensively rotate their line-up, with Pompey utilising 20 of the 22-man squad named for the fixture.

Later that day, the Blues travelled to the Rocks, where a Pompey XI triumphed 5-1 against Robbie Blake’s side.

Adam May registered a hat-trick, while Dan Smith and Leon Maloney also etched their names on the Nyewood Lane scoresheet.

Luke McGee, Christian Burgess, Matt Casey and May featured in both matches held that day, while Gareth Evans appeared solely at Bognor.

The Blues have so far unveiled a 2019 summer schedule consisting of seven matches, with public entry allowed.

Included within that are Pompey XI fixtures at non-league trio the Rocks (July 16), Aldershot (July 23) and Woking (July 30).

They will also travel to Irish side UCD (July 10), the Hawks (July 13), Stevenage (July 20) and Crawley (July 27).

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Brighton & Hove Albion announce pre-season fixtures

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Brighton and Hove Albion have confirmed three opponents for their pre-season calendar, with two other friendlies confirmed as arranged but without opponents at the moment.

On July 7th, new Brighton boss Graham Potter and his team will fly out to Austria for their training camp and will prepare to play an opponent who has yet to be confirmed as part of their tour. The game will take place on July 13th and will be Graham Potter’s first game in charge of his new side.

Potter will then manage the Seagulls in England for the first time when his side face neighbours Crawley Town at the People’s Pension Stadium on July 19th, with the game kicking off at 7:45pm.

Just one day later on Saturday 20th, Brighton will travel to Aldershot Town’s stadium, the EEB Stadium, to face recently relegated Fulham in a game which kicks off at 3pm.

After a week, Potter and his side will be back in action as they travel up to Birmingham to face Sky Bet Championship side Birmingham City at St Andrew’s St Trillion Trophy Stadium, again kicking off at 3pm.

Finally, the 2019/20 preparations will end at the Amex on Friday August 2nd, although the opponent is yet to be confirmed. However, the club have revealed that the opponent is ‘likely to be foreign’.

Premier League fixtures are announced on Thursday June 13th at 9am and the season will kick off on the weekend of August 10th.

Confirmed pre-season fixtures so far:

Saturday July 13th: Opponent TBC – Destination TBC. (Kick off TBC)

Friday July 19th: Crawley Town vs Brighton & Hove Albion @ People’s Pension Stadium. (Kick off 7:45pm)

Saturday July 20th: Fulham vs Brighton & Hove Albion @ EEB Stadium. (Kick off 3pm)

Saturday July 27th: Birmingham City vs Brighton & Hove Albion @ St Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium. (Kick off 3pm)

Friday August 2nd: Opponent TBC @ Amex. (Kick off TBC)

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Graham Potter may have to break a few eggs, but he will already have a recipe for Albion success – Johnny Cantor

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You know what, I love an omelette. A bit like Gavin and Stacey. Doesn’t matter what’s in it. Just plain will do.

Mushrooms, peppers or perhaps ham and cheese if I’m feeling naughty.

However, there is one key thing you do need to make one. Yes to make an omelette you need to break a few eggs.

Having taken over the reins at the Amex new Head Coach, Graham Potter will inevitably have to break things up a bit to pull it all together again.

Many will have sympathised with former Seagulls boss Chris Hughton when the news of his sacking came through. It was swift. It was brutal. However, it has happened.

Now the club are moving on. The debate over why, when and how the change was made will no doubt continue but the big question remains whether the new man at the helm can impose a more fluent style of play and still deliver results that will keep them in the Premier League.

SEE ALSO The 7 new rule changes coming to the Premier League next season | Graham Potter’s in-tray: The 9 issues new Brighton boss MUST tackle in first week | Ian Hart: The potential transfer triangle involving Lewis Dunk, Portsmouth’s Matt Clarke and Leicester City’s Harry Maguire following Graham Potter’s Brighton arrival | Appointment of Graham Potter a big chance for Brighton and Hove Albion academy prospects
Some will make the point that the 44-year-old has no top-flight experience but as Deputy Chairman Paul Barber defended the appointment this week on BBC Sussex, neither did Arsene Wenger.

The squad will no doubt need refreshing and we already have wind of various targets as the summer transfer window begins.

It is inevitable that some players may leave as well but Potter’s holistic approach may also provide a new lease of life for various members of the squad.

I think it may prove more difficult in the Premier League but Potter appears to have all the attributes to get the best out of everyone. If not they may just have to move on, or be moved on.

There is undoubtedly a huge amount of talent at the club and despite the third smallest wage bill they have survived for two seasons when many doubted they would. Potter’s initial job will be to assess and analyse his armoury.

He will develop a plan to create the best possible group from the individuals available. It will take everyone to buy into it but he has shown in his previous roles that he can bring most together, if he is given time. And that is the most precious of gifts, time.

Chairman Tony Bloom admitted on Monday you don’t always have time on your side but hopes this appointment will work out for the long-term. I certainly do as well.

I am sure everyone will initially get behind him but I hope he gets the backing required to change things.

The recruitment has to be right and as the former Swansea boss has brought his full team with him including his trusted recruitment assistant he can only be judged on what, and who, he delivers.

Dan Ashworth clearly had an important role to play in bringing in a young, progressive candidate. He too will want this to work as the results will reflect on him either way. It is an exciting new era at the club and the next six months will be very interesting.

Not only will all the supporters be focussed on what happens but the national media and the boardrooms of other clubs will be watching to see how it develops. BBC Sussex will of course be there every step of the way. Some may say it was a brutal sacking but it is certainly a brave appointment and for that the club should be applauded.

It’s not one of the usual names but Bloom has never done that. Chris Hughton was not, and is not, one of those either. He was brought in to do a certain job, provide stability and realise the dream, and he did it with determination and class. I wish him well. I also wish Graham Potter well as he embarks on his next challenge. His first task may well be to reach for the mixing bowl to break a few eggs but I am sure he already has a recipe for success in his mind and may yet serve up a treat.

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