Potter refuses to go ‘insane’ with guesswork; reacts to Bielsa praise

Graham Potter says he has “no idea” how many more points Brighton need to confirm Premier League status for another year.

Potter claims he would go “insane” trying to do so as his side approach the business end of the season. Brighton are seven points clear of 18th-placed Fulham with five games of the campaign left, and nine ahead of West Brom despite the Baggies’ recent resurgence.

One more Brighton success would effectively leave West Brom needing to win their five remaining games to overhaul them, while Fulham would probably require at least three victories and two draws.

But Potter insists he does not know how many points Brighton need to secure a fifth straight season of top-flight football.

He said before Saturday’s home game with Leeds: “I have no idea.

“I can drive myself pretty insane by trying to guess it. My focus is just on the weekend.

“We are playing Leeds United who are enjoying a very good season; they’re in a good place, a good moment.

“You can’t worry about what other people do or second guess other things are going to happen.

“You can’t rely on other people. All you do is your very best and focus on our performance.”

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Brighton won 1-0 at Elland Road in January and Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa has spoken highly of Potter’s Seagulls.

Bielsa said Brighton are “unfairly” in the division’s lower reaches given their all-round ability in defence and attack and the way they keep possession.

Potter said: “Unfortunately it (Bielsa’s praise) doesn’t give us the points – and I’d rather have the points.

“Maybe he (Bielsa) can be nice to say, ‘here’s the points on Saturday’, but I know that’s not going to happen.

“Marcelo’s done an amazing job there, and it’s great for the game that he’s over here.

“But regardless of what anybody says we need to do it ourselves. We need to get the points and keep going.”

Potter still confident

Brighton appeared to be pulling clear of danger after back-to-back wins over Southampton and Newcastle before last month’s international break.

But Brighton have picked up only two points from four games since, with defeats to Manchester United and Sheffield United bookending draws against Everton and Chelsea.

“I’m confident in the team and confident in what we’re doing,” said Potter, who hopes midfielder Adam Lallana will recover from a calf complaint in time to face Leeds.

“Whilst you haven’t got the points you have to respect the fact that it’s football and anything can happen.

“There’s lots of points to play for and everybody’s going to keep going to the very end. We have to do the same.

“We have belief, we’re together, we’re fighting and we’ll do our best.”

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