Graham Potter had plenty of praise for his opposite number this evening when he spoke to the media earlier this week.
The Seagulls head to Potter’s former club – where he made 10 appearances as a player in the 1996/97 campaign, looking to secure Premier League status for a third year in succession.
Southampton sit above Albion in the table and have come a long way since suffering the joint-heaviest defeat ever in the competition’s history, a 9-0 humbling by Leicester City on home soil in October.
“I can't speak highly enough of it [the team’s turnaround] to be honest,” Potter said.
“We tend to focus on the coaches that win, and we like that story but there is a story that is even more powerful.
“His is one that has been a real on-the-knees at one point and knocked to the floor pretty much because the result was a damaging one.
“To be able to get up and go again and to use it as a way to galvanise the group and then to create a team that is producing the football that they are is a massive achievement.
“I would put him up there as one of the top three performers in the league in terms of coaching performance. That’s how highly I think of him and rate what they’ve done.”
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Albion will want to prevent Danny Ings from scoring tonight, as the English striker chases the Golden Boot for the current campaign.
Potter was asked to compare the forward to former club legend Matt Le Tissier – whom the Albion boss shared the field with during his time at the club.
“I think it would be fair to say I’m not sure Matt would have been able to press as well as Danny does,” Potter joked.
“I’m sure he would say the same. I think it’s unfair to compare. Danny has done really well with what he’s done and how he contributes to the team with the goals, as well as how he helps their team idea - I think it’s fantastic.
“Matt was one of the factors that kept that club in the Premier League. It was the Dell and him.
“He carried the team at times with his wonderful skill and he was a one-off. It would be unfair to compare. But both have really contributed to what the team has achieved.
“Matt was amazing. Some of the stuff he could do would leave you scratching your head.
“He wasn’t the most athletic player in the world but had quality on the ball and vision and ability to execute all sorts of passes and finishes.
“He was a joy to work with and play with, he was a really good team-mate and I enjoyed my time with him.”