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Potter keen to develop from within

Albion head coach on the importance of nurturing club’s existing talent.

By Alex Stedman • 11 September 2020

By Paul Hazlewood
Albion head coach Graham Potter.

Graham Potter says that the club have a real desire to help develop the current members of their squad ahead of Monday night’s Premier League opener against Chelsea. 

With the transfer window open until the 5th October, the head coach was keen to highlight the importance of aiding the progression of the players he already has at his disposal. 

“All the time the window is open you have a responsibility to keep looking and you never know, but my focus is on the team we have,” he said. 

“We’ve got a lot of players in the group who had their first season in the Premier League last year so I think we can improve and get better as individuals and as a team. 

“There’s always speculation, but you can forget sometimes that football is a game that’s about trying to help the team improve and that’s what we’ll focus on.”

14:38

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Potter's Chelsea Press Conference

The trio of Neal Maupay, Aaron Connolly and Leandro Trossard all made their Premier League debuts last term, with Maupay scoring ten goals and finishing top scorer in his first season in the top flight. 

Alireza Jahanbakhsh also scored his first two goals in English football, the second a spectacular Goal of the Season winner against Monday’s opponents. 

“I look to the likes of Neal Maupay, Aaron Connolly, Leandro Trossard and Alireza Jahanbakhsh and what they achieved last season and think we can help them improve those goal tallies,” Potter added. 

“Rather than look for the silver bullet that’s out there, can we help them score more? 

“Three of those four were mainly in their first year in the Premier League. That might mean they can step forward now after those experiences and the goals will come from within.

“But you are always looking and if we feel that there’s somebody out there that can help improve the guys here then great. The most important thing though is to help the guys we’ve got.”

12:21

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Highlights: Albion 1 Chelsea 1

Albion played out a 1-1 draw with Chelsea a fortnight ago at the Amex in a pre-season friendly, with a late penalty from Pascal Gross cancelling out Timo Werner’s early opener. 

Potter knows that his men will be in for another challenging game on Monday. 

“From the signings they have made intention is clear – they want to compete at the top,” said Potter. 

“They had a really good season finishing fourth despite a [transfer] embargo and they also reached the FA Cup final while introducing young players. 

“A club like Chelsea with a manager like Frank Lampard want to push on towards the title now and that’s the aim. 

“They’ve got some really good players and I have no doubt they’ll be a really strong side this season.”

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