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Potter: Huge respect for my players

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Last year’s Premier League champions showed their quality to win 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium this afternoon, but despite feeling expectedly disappointed with the result, Albion head coach Graham Potter was proud of his players for the courage shown against Manchester City.

By Kieran Cleeves • 31 August 2019

By Paul Hazlewood
Graham Potter applauds the Albion supporters at the Etihad Stadium.

Potter stuck with a 3-4-3 formation against Pep Guardiola’s record-breakers, and although the hosts put on a punishing display in the north west, and the Albion head coach couldn’t fault the endeavour shown by his team to take the game to City on their own turf.

He said, “The scoreline is not what we like, of course, but in terms of the players’ effort and their courage, trying to do what we asked them to do, it was a top performance.

“Obviously it doesn’t help when you go a goal down so early, but their courage throughout the first half especially, against a top team, was incredible.

“They punish you, but I thought our players were fantastic. It’s not easy to say that when the scoreline is what it is, but I’ve got huge respect for what they tried to do at a difficult place.”

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Potter's Man City verdict

Albion were unable to take advantage of their chances at the Etihad, as Sergio Aguero’s brace and a goal each for Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva sealed all three points, and Potter reflected on his team’s opportunities.

“You need those moments, of course, because you know they’ll have some as well and the difference is that they’re very clinical.

“We had a good chance at 2-0 through Leandro [Trossard], and you need those chances to go in and then ride your luck as well.

“I can’t remember too many chances [for City in the first half]. I thought our personality on the pitch was amazing and I’m just very, very proud of the players.”

By Bennett Dean
Neal Maupay chases down the ball at the Etihad Stadium

The September international break now lies ahead for Albion’s squad, before returning to action against Burnley at the Amex Stadium, and Potter insists his team must remain positive and focused on improvement.

“It’s going to be a challenge, it’s going to be hard, and we know that. It’s the top league in world football, so we know it will be be difficult, but we’re going to be positive and try to develop our game.

“We need to get results as well, and we know that, but in terms of what the players have been doing, I can’t ask any more from them. They’ve given their best and as a coach you can move forward with that.”

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