Graham Potter pays tribute to his father and praises players after West Ham draw

Graham Potter said he is 'proud' of his players and paid tribute to his late father after Brighton and Hove Albion's comeback against West Ham today (Saturday) saw his side leave The London Stadium with a point.

Saturday, 1st February 2020, 7:17 pm
Updated Saturday, 1st February 2020, 7:18 pm
Brighton Graham Potter paid tribute to his father who passed away on Thursday

Potter's men found themselves two down at half-time against fellow relegation battlers West Ham, but Albion came out in the second half and finished 3-3 after Brighton's pressure, West Ham's mistakes, and an extensive VAR review deemed Glenn Murray's equaliser legal.

Potter said, "I'm very proud of the players, very proud of their reaction to being down in the game. We had to suffer a bit. I thought we were quite heavily punished to be honest but sometimes that happens.

"Our response was really good at half-time. We get the early goal and pushed and pushed. At 3-1 we have to respond again, but I thought over the 90 minutes there was good quality, good personality, attitude, character and I'm very proud.

"I feel the players felt we could have won the game. It's not like we were hanging on and we've just got a lucky 3-3.

"We were more than deserved of that point and the players are probably proud because of what they've done in terms of the recovery and how they've acted in the game. But also disappointed that they've given themselves a bit of a mountain to climb as well."

Potter lost his father to cancer on Thursday and said the club and the players have been 'brilliant' and 'supportive'.

He said, "My father had a very short aggressive battle with cancer and so whenever you witness that, as a human being, it's not pleasant.

"In the end it's nice he's not suffering anymore. It's difficult. Thankfully, I've had support from people at the club, I've had lots of messages and the players have been brilliant.

"It's been tough times but he was proud of me, he was proud of what I did. I'm not the first person that has to suffer like we have as a family. It's part of life. He was proud at what I achieved in my career and who I am as a person, so it's important for me to act in that manner today and to give it the best I can."

Potter went on to highlight Glenn Murray's professionalism and the impact the striker made in the game.

He said, "Glenn obviously wants to play, but at the same time, he has always been supportive of the team, he shows his character every day and I thought today he showed what he brings to the team and I'm really, really pleased for him and proud because he has been able to condition himself and look after himself to play 90 minutes and contribute to a great team performance."

Potter's men scored from poor West Ham defending but the head coach said it was his team's pressing that created those opportunities.

He said, "Mistakes don't just happen on their own, they need something to force them to happen. The second goal was a result of us reacting well and putting pressure on West Ham and, like I said, if you look at the second half the game was played in the opposition's half.

"Their goalkeeper has made more saves than ours, we've had to force those mistakes and we did that through quality and character."

The Albion manager considered his own side's defensive downfalls and put the goals conceded down to luck and misfortune, but praised his team's mentality to comeback.

He said, "Sometimes when you're down there and you're having a bit of a tricky moment you don't get that bit of luck or that bit fortune you need to survive. We didn't and the key thing is how you respond.

"How you respond to setbacks, that's the most important thing. That is something that has stood me in great stead in my life and I'm thankful to my mother and father for instilling those values."