Potter welcomes midfield competition

Graham Potter admits he has a welcome selection dilemma in the centre of midfield for this afternoon’s game with Sheffield United at the Amex Stadium.

By Alex Stedman • 21 December 2019

By Paul Hazlewood
Graham Potter.

Albion will have Dale Stephens back and available for selection today, after the Englishman served a one-match suspension against Crystal Palace on Monday night.

Yves Bissouma replaced the 30-year-old in the process at Selhurst Park, and the boss praised the Malian’s efforts so far this season, as well as speaking about the competition for places in that area of the field. 

Potter said, “He’s [Bissouma] developed and he’s improving all the time, it’s a nice problem to have for me because you want to be able to select your side from as many players as possible.

“We have a lot of games coming up and everyone will get time to play. He did tire towards the end of the game on Monday night, but that’s understandable and we have to use him wisely over the next week or so.   

“I was happy for him though, because he had to miss pre-season with his injury. He’s had to be patient and wait for his chance, but I think he did very well in the game. 

“A lot of it for Yves is about getting comfortable within the group in terms of workload and training, as he had no game time for quite a while. It’s about how we fit him in to give him the minutes he needs in the league, but he’s a good player and a good lad, so we’re happy to have him in the group.”

By Paul Hazlewood
Yves Bissouma thanks the travelling fans on Monday night.

Chris Wilder brings the Blades to the south coast today boasting an unbeaten record away from home so far this season, and Potter was keen to emphasise his admiration for the job his opposite number has done at Bramall Lane. 

“If you look back over the course of the calendar year in 2019, then there can’t be many that have done as good of a job as him,” he continued. 

“He got promotion and has then helped them get to 25 points already, which is an incredible achievement. All jobs are tough and it’s hard to compare them, all the contexts are different.

“I’m sure when Chris first started there it was a tough job, and it still is now because the demand to get points still exists. 

“What they’ve done to help themselves is to establish a belief and an understanding of each other. It becomes a little easier once you’ve got that.”


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Potter's Sheffield United Press Conference