Interviews

Potter: Derby day will differ from Sweden

Head coach on contrasting derby game experiences.

By Alex Stedman • 18 October 2020

By James Boardman
Graham Potter wants his team to strike the balance right between attack and defence.

Albion head to Selhurst Park this afternoon to take on Crystal Palace, a game Graham Potter admits is a far cry from the derby day he was used to during his time at Ostersunds in Sweden.

 

The boss recognises what today’s match means to the club’s supporters but says the fixture is distinctively different to the one he experienced at his former employers.

 

He said, "Northern Sweden is more of an ice hockey area to be honest, but from a footballing perspective the local derby between Ostersunds and Sundsvall is a two-and-a-half-hour drive, so it’s not quite the same.

 

"But it’s still a nice day for the supporters and it was important for us, and the northern part of the country, to have two teams in the highest league competing.

 

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Graham Potter's Crystal Palace Press Conference

"Wherever you are though, a derby brings a special feeling to the game because of the importance to the supporters, the rivalry and for local pride."

 

The head coach also spoke about the importance of his side finding a winning formula at both ends of the pitch ahead of today’s match with the Eagles.

"Football is always about balance. If you are not conceding but also not scoring, you can put yourself in trouble.


"If you are scoring but conceding as well, you can be in trouble. You've got to find the balance between attack and defence and that's the challenge for us.


"Ironically, even though we've conceded goals, our defensive performances in terms of chances created against us is actually good. We have defended quite well generally as a unit in games, but certain things have cost us goals, which we need to improve.

 

"It's not been as a result of us defensively being all over the place. There's been a good understanding and a good defensive performance from the whole team, but clearly the more you play together the better that gets, as does our attacking play as well.


"We have to understand where the goals have come from, understand how we can do that better, and then move forward."

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