Battered and bruised Graham Potter makes this promise after Sheffield United loss
Graham Potter looked battered, bruised and thoroughly cheesed off as relegated Sheffield United won only their fifth Premier League game of the season to ensure Brighton continue to sweat over their top-flight future.
The Blades’ fate was sealed with defeat at Wolves a week ago but they responded with a 1-0 victory at Bramall Lane on Saturday night, courtesy of David McGoldrick’s first-half strike.
Brighton still have the luxury of a seven-point cushion and should be safe, but a daunting run-in which includes games against Leeds, Wolves, West Ham, Manchester City and Arsenal is enough to keep them looking over their shoulders.
Brighton were poor in the first half but improved after the break. Jakub Moder had a goal chalked off for offside while Neal Maupay missed three very presentable chances during the 90 minutes.
"It's a frustrating result," said Potter who is still sporting a painful looking black eye and suffering from whiplash after a midweek tumble on the beach saw him crash into some metal railings.
"The performance wasn't probably the level it has been recently. We didn't have the quality we can have. When that happens in the Premier League it can be hard.
"We had some opportunities but it is up to us to do better. It was up to us to create more."
On his side's seven-point safety cushion: "It's not enough because there's a lot of points to play for. We have to just focus on one game at a time. Every opponent is fighting for something."
"We were probably not quite as good as we have been recently. We had a decent chance early with Neal Maupay and then gave a poor goal away from our perspective.
"Football is about scoring goals and we didn't do it today. We pushed and pushed, maybe could have got a goal but it was not to be. We needed a bit more quality over the course of the game.
"We are at that stage of the season where everyone is fighting for something, even if it is pride like Sheffield United "
A good start to the match by the Blades was almost undone after 12 minutes when a driving run through the centre of the pitch by the impressive Yves Bissouma was unchecked, allowing him to put Maupay through on goal.
The Brighton striker was unmarked on the edge of the penalty area but Aaron Ramsdale had spotted the danger and raced from his goal to make a fine block from Maupay’s driven shot.
It proved a big save by the England Under-21 international goalkeeper as shortly afterwards McGoldrick opened the scoring.
Some good pressing by Ben Osborn in midfield allowed the Blades to wrest back possession. Enda Stevens then set Osbourn free down the left and his cross into the box was sliced clear by Joel Veltman to the edge of the penalty area, where Pascal Gross’ attempt to clear the danger then ricocheted off Rhian Brewster and into the path of McGoldrick, whose shot on the turn from eight yards out wrong-footed goalkeeper Robert Sanchez and rolled into the net. It was a messy goal from Brighton’s perspective.
It was immediately noticeable that there was more intent from Brighton after the restart as Lallana worked Ramsdale, but his shot was straight at the goalkeeper.
Lallana and Danny Welbeck then combined to put Maupay through again but once more Ramsdale produced a fine save to deny the striker, getting down quickly to push the ball round the post after Maupay had tried to squeeze the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
It felt like an equaliser was coming and Brighton thought they had it after 56 minutes when Moder turned the ball home from close range following a corner. However, VAR showed the Poland international was clearly offside.
Lallana was unable to direct a header on target and Bissouma also saw an effort fly wide as the visitors continued to knock at the door.
Brighton should have equalised midway through the second half. Impressive second half substitute Alireza Jahanbakhsh cut the ball back for Maupay inside the six-yard box, but the striker somehow lifted his shot over the crossbar.
It was backs to the wall stuff from the hosts as tried to hold on, which they managed to do courtesy of some wayward finishing from Jahanbakhsh and another fine save from Ramsdale – who did well to push away a swerving, dipping shot from Jose Izquierdo late on.