Interviews

Potter: I manage so I can make a difference

Head coach reflects ahead of 100th game in charge of Albion.

By Charlie Hanson • 17 November 2021

By Paul Hazlewood
This Saturday's away game at Aston Villa will mark Graham Potter's 100th game in charge of Albion.

Graham Potter says shared experiences with colleagues and players mean more to him than individual results.

This Saturday’s game at Villa Park marks his 100th as Albion boss since being appointed in May 2019.

And while he admits that results bring him joy in the short-term, he puts the pleasure of working day-to-day with players and staff above everything else.

He said, “Football is about winning, it’s a results business, we know that. But I started doing this job because you can make a difference, you can help people. Ultimately that’s what it’s about for me. 

By Paul Hazlewood
The head coach's team have taken 17 points from their opening 11 Premier League games of the campaign.

“I will look back on my life and I won’t necessarily look back on wins or results, I will look back on the people that I have worked with. The challenge is then to combine that with what the club wants, which is to win enough football matches. 

“The result is a really important part of it, don’t get me wrong – my life is a lot better when we’ve won! It’s how you get that result though, that’s why I refer to the people as the most important bit. 

“I look back at my times with Ostersunds, with Swansea and the people here, they will be more important to me than anything else.”

Pressed on what has been his favourite result as Albion’s head coach, two matches at the Amex stick out.

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PL Highlights: Albion 3 Man City 2

“I still say the first game after lockdown against Arsenal was a massive result, if you looked at the fixtures we had – Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool at home, those are the games where you need your supporters and nobody was going to be there. So to get that result [against Arsenal] was really important. If supporters had been there the roof would have come off. 

“For the players and the club, the 3-2 win over Manchester City was another big one. To beat a team of that quality, with the crowd there, was really good for the team.”

The 46-year-old appreciates the way supporters have backed him during his time at the club.

“I always think the support has been positive generally. I keep off social media and don’t read newspapers – the dissenting voices are always the loudest. I am not naïve enough to think that I have universal support because I don’t think that exists, especially in this game. 

By Paul Hazlewood
Saturday's game will also mark Potter's 400th game as a boss, having previously been in charge at Ostersunds and Swansea.

“But generally the people I have met have been supportive, they can see what we’re trying to do. They want the results to get a little bit better which is understandable, but they’re really positive, they’re appreciative of what we’re trying to do and how we’re trying to move the club forward. 

“There will be some because we’re not winning enough who will want change to something else. The last time we had a crowd in before the pandemic, there was a bloke shouting at me, ‘It’s time to go now Potter!’ That’s how it is! Generally though the supporters have been brilliant.”