Potter: First season was toughest of my life

Head coach looks back ahead of 100th Premier League game in charge.

By Charlie Hanson • 15 February 2022

By Paul Hazlewood
Tuesday night's game against Manchester United will be Graham Potter's 100th Premier League game in charge of Albion.

Graham Potter has said that his first year in charge of Albion was the most challenging of not just his career, but his life.

The head coach had to contend with a lot; a new job, leading the club during the beginning of the pandemic and tough personal circumstances.

On top of that, the 46-year-old was trying to implement a new approach on the pitch.

By Paul Hazlewood
The head coach reflected on a difficult first season on the south coast.

“You’ve got to keep moving forward and convincing people you’re on the right path,” Potter said. “I think that’s been the challenge for us. I was being compared to the previous guy [Chris Hughton], who I have a huge respect for and who I think did a fantastic job.

“You face that, you know the media game, which is results-related. Off the pitch both my parents passed away, which from a mental health perspective is incredibly challenging, and then we had Covid which resulted in lockdown - no wonder it was the hardest year of my life.”

Tonight Potter’s team head to Manchester United who, under Ralf Rangnick, have been good at creating goalscoring opportunities, but sometimes struggled to put them away.

The Albion head coach says it’s an all too familiar feeling for him, but has no doubt United will come through.


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Potter's Manchester United press conference

“I think it requires a bit of perspective, but that is sometimes not prevalent in Premier League football analysis. There's emotion, if a team lost or hasn't got the result they want, it's a crisis, a catastrophe. Sometimes perspective is not really there.

“All the things being spoken about, you could be talking about Brighton but instead it's [Cristiano] Ronaldo, it's [Edinson] Cavani, it's [Marcus] Rashford, then what chance have we got? But that's the game and that's what we have to deal with. They will come through, just like we have.”