Brighton head coach Graham Potter admits that he has some concerns over the negative impact suspensions are having on his squad.
Both Neal Maupay and captain Lewis Dunk will miss Saturday’s Premier League visit of West Ham after receiving red cards in last weekend’s defeat at Wolves.
Those two dismissals mean the Seagulls have had six red cards so far this season – more than any other club.
In fact, Maupay‘s was entirely avoidable; the Frenchman remonstrated with the officials after the final whistle, following Wolves’ 2-1 win.
Brighton host the Hammers after Burnley’s win over Fulham earlier this week ensured their survival.
But asked if he is worried about the impact the number of suspensions are having, Potter replied: “Well, yes.
“I think you have to be concerned because that is a time when you have got players who are not available. For every player you lose, you have to find a solution and adjust the team.
“It is part of the game and in an ideal world we don’t want it to happen but when you lose a player, whether it is through injury or suspension, the team has to readjust and that is where you can lose a little bit of performance.
“We have managed to navigate it pretty well but still, we can improve in that area.”
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Potter and the Brighton hierarchy are now able to prepare for a fifth successive season in the Premier League.
While they may top the table for red cards this season, though, some good news could soon be coming Brighton’s way.
With three games remaining, they sit just four points off equalling their best points return since being promoted in 2017.
As such, Potter was full of praise for how his side dealt with the tougher moments of their season and insists he does not anticipate a major overhaul of the squad this summer.
Potter not anxious over transfers
“We’ve got a good honest group who have stuck together,” the manager added.
“We’ve had moments where we’ve struggled, but it’s been dealt with in a calm, professional and honest way. You’re not going to go through a season where everything is perfect and not have setbacks.
“It’s how you deal with them and we’ve always done that. That means you can keep your points tally ticking over.
“One thing I would say is that I am happy with this group. It is not like I can sit here and say this group is at its maximum and they can’t get better. They can and that is what is exciting for us.
“I am not desperate [for the transfer window to open] but the job of a football club when it does is to look and see ways to improve and strengthen the group. We will be no different at that time.”
After Saturday’s clash with West Ham, Brighton face Manchester City and Arsenal to finish their season.