Manager Graham Potter named important characteristics his Brighton players showed to beat Newcastle United in Saturday’s huge Premier League clash.
The Seagulls knew that victory over their fellow strugglers would give them a decent cushion to the bottom three. And goals from Leandro Trossard, Danny Welbeck and Neal Maupay saw the south-coast outfit run out worthy 3-0 winners.
The result leaves Albion 16th in the standings but six points clear of 18th-placed Fulham and with a game in hand. Brighton were as good as the Magpies were bad, with Steve Bruce’s men struggling just two points above the Cottagers.
Potter was focused on his charges after the match, however, and could not fault any aspect of their display.
“All credit to the players,” he said. “Courage, attitude, personality they were fantastic. When they lost the ball, when they made a mistake, they reacted really well. Collectively they had a good understanding of what we are trying to do.
“They were in the moment and just focused on the game and on what we needed to do.”
And the former Swansea chief felt his side have finally seen the fruit of their labours.
“We have not had the results maybe we thought we should have but they have stuck with it and they have been rewarded with two good performances, one really really good performance tonight and obviously six points,” he added.
Honest Bruce admits Potter got the best of him
Pressure is growing on Bruce after yet another defeat for the Tynesiders. It now seems a straight tussle between Newcastle and Fulham to join Sheffield United and West Brom in the Championship.
Thy have taken just nine points since the turn of the year and only three in their last six games. And the much-travelled tactician pulled no punches in his assessment of Saturday’s loss.
“We were simply beaten by the far better team on the night,” he admitted. “It was a very difficult evening for us.
“We have to accept it and take the responsibility for it. It was, at times, a little bit too easy for Brighton. Take nothing away from our opponents. They were better in every department.”
And the beleaguered boss picked out a simple reason why his side were never in the match.
“We kept surrendering possession back to them,” he added. “We all know they are a very decent football team. We needed to get to half-time [at 0-0] but we didn’t quite get there.”