Potter buzzing before Brighton welcome Palace
Brighton boss Graham Potter admits he is excited by the prospect of his first home match against rivals Crystal Palace.
Potter is in his first season in charge of the Seagulls and experienced the rivalry for the first time in December when his side earned a point from a 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park.
The clash takes on added importance on Saturday lunchtime, with Brighton just four points above the Premier League relegation zone and with games to come against Wolves, Arsenal and Leicester next month, and there are meetings with Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City in April.
“We’re excited for it. I must admit, I enjoyed the atmosphere at Selhurst Park – which was my first experience of it,” said Potter at his pre-match press conference.
“We want to try and win of course but I’m sure Palace will have the same thought. My message to the fans is to enjoy the game and get behind the team in the right way. They can help us get three points, and we know what it means to them.
“We got a draw at Selhurst Park but now we want to turn one point into three if we can. Every Premier League game is hard-fought and we will need a bit of luck and we will need to play well, of course.”
Asked about Brighton’s tough-looking fixtures for the remainder of the campaign, Potter said: “I don’t think you can think in those terms, there are no easy games.
“We’ve beaten Arsenal, we’ve beaten Tottenham. We’ve had good results. You just focus on the next game coming up and don’t plan or predict what may or may not happen in the future.”
Brighton have been boosted by the return of Dale Stephens ahead of the Palace clash. The midfielder, who missed the last two matches against Watford and Sheffield United, is available for selection after recovering from a groin injury.
Teenager Tariq Lamptey, who continues to impress in training, and Alexis Mac Allister are also fit and looking for a place Potter’s squad, which leaves Jose Izquierdo (knee) as the only absentee.