The Seagulls head to the Etihad Stadium this weekend looking to cause an upset against last season’s title-winners, and the Albion head coach spoke of his admiration for the man he’ll be seeing in the home dugout tomorrow afternoon.
He said, “He’s [Pep Guardiola] somebody who’s had a massive influence on the game and everybody looks at him.
“I can’t think of any manager who’s had as much of an impact on the sport wherever he’s gone – you only have to look at his work with Barcelona, Bayern Munich and now Manchester City.
“Before he came to the Premier League it was a division where people said ‘anybody can beat anybody’ – he’s changed that over the last few years, nearly 200 points or so later, it’s not quite the same and that’s his influence without a doubt.”
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A draw with West Ham United and a defeat against Southampton, both on home soil, have followed an impressive opening day victory away to Watford on the opening day of the league campaign, and Potter spoke about the calibre of opposition that provide the next test this weekend.
“The great thing about football is that there’s a chance you can win, but also the understanding that you can lose, like when we travelled to Bristol Rovers in the cup on Tuesday evening, that’s what’s brilliant about football,” he continued.
“I have huge respect for what they’ve done, I have of course come up against them last year with Swansea City but it’s a different team and environment in a different competition – we have a new challenge now.”
“We know at times we might not have so much of the ball, when you go to places like the Etihad you have to assume it will be harder – but that’s great for us because if we’re to achieve anything you have to be really on your game.”
Last year Manchester City sealed the title at the Amex Stadium in another season which saw their attacking exploits draw plaudits aplenty, but the Albion boss was keen to emphasise the other side of the game which he believes Guardiola’s men do equally as well.
“Their resilience is often overlooked because of the success they have, but it isn’t always about attractive football.
“They fight for everything in every game and every action, that’s a huge credit to them as a group.
“They’re leading the way in terms of how everyone should be, they’re the best in the country and every aspect of everything they do is at such a high level – it will be a really great test for us and it’s one we have to relish.”