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Potter's praise for positive Connolly

Graham Potter praised Aaron Connolly for his impressive performance in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur, and spoke about the decision to hand the 19-year-old his full Premier League debut.

By James Hilsum • 07 October 2019

By Paul Hazlewood
Graham Potter and Mauricio Pochettino

Connolly struck a brace in a memorable victory over the north Londoners at the Amex, and Potter highlighted how the teenager fitted in perfectly to the way he wanted to approach the game.

He said, “The decision to select him was probably a combination of reflecting on the Chelsea game, his performances in training, and how he helps with the mentality of being positive and the way he challenges centre-backs.

“He’s a really good lad and is only 19, so there will be times when he’s mature and times when he acts his age.

“That’s normal, but from day one he showed his quality, and he wants to run in behind and threaten the goal. They’re two very good qualities to have.”

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Potter: Reward for our belief

The Albion head coach spoke about the way he adapted his tactics on Saturday and the risks involved of playing in such a manner against a team with Tottenham’s qualities.

“I wanted to try and be a bit more positive in a 4-4-2, press their back four, be compact, and get our strikers in the game with the width coming from our full-backs.

“Sometimes your ideas work and sometimes they don’t; we needed a bit of luck as well with the first goal, but I don’t think anyone would begrudge us the three points.

“There hasn’t been a win here for a while, so it’s normal that people are not sure what to expect, so it was up to us to set the tone of the game. Everyone as a group wants to defend a bit higher, press and be proactive in and out of possession.

“Sometimes the opposition can be too good and play through you, but we wanted to take that chance against a good team.”

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Extended highlights: Albion 3 Spurs 0

Potter believes that Saturday’s win will ease some of the scrutiny on his side, and was delighted to secure a much-needed victory for the fans.

“There have been lots of positives to take from the Watford, Southampton, West Ham and Burnley games, where we put in some good performances. It was the same case in the Man City game, where they were very clinical on the day.

“We know this is a very challenging league, and there’s pressure on you until you get a win. With that in mind, I’m very pleased for the players and for the supporters, who got to enjoy a good performance and three points.”

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