Brighton and Hove Albion's fighting spirit mirrors Graham Potter's recent mood

Graham Potter has been on the front foot lately and his team proved they are no soft touch either with a determined display in the Premier League at Sheffield United.

Brighton head coach Graham Potter adapted his style to gain a valuable point at Sheffield United
Brighton head coach Graham Potter adapted his style to gain a valuable point at Sheffield United

Ahead of the match Potter issued a stern defence of his reign as Brighton manager and his players responded with a battling 1-1 draw at this season's surprise package Sheffield United.

It's the third match in a row Brighton have been forced to fight back from a goal down to claim another vital point in their quest to avoid the drop. It was not pretty but there was much to admire about Brighton on Saturday and it was the type of team display that said, 'We will fight to stay in the division.'

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Potter, who joined from Championship club Swansea last summer, started his Brighton career in positive fashion and his possession based style of play received plenty of plaudits and proved popular with the supporters.

They have suffered a recent dip in form and Brighton are four points above the relegation zone and have not won since beating Bournemouth on December 28. It's a concern but avoiding defeats to West Ham, Watford and now Sheffield United - where Potter's men went behind in each match - will likely be crucial come the end of the season.

Potter understands expectations are high but was also keen to issue a reality check.

"It's not like I'm sitting here thinking we are a Europa League team," said the head coach. "The team last year finished with 36 points and we have added two players from the Championship, one from Belgium and a couple of academy players.

"I don't know where the expectations are to a certain extent. We have done okay, in some games we think we could have got a few more points. But that doesn't matter we have what we have. Our job is to try and improve that and finish with a good points tally we can be proud of.

"I have always been happy with the group. We have had challenges in terms of playing style changes and personal changes but the group in terms of how it is together and how they work with me, I'm really happy with. We are just disappointed with the points tally and we need to improve on that."

The manner in which Albion secured a point at Bramall Lane was in contrast to how Potter has attempted to play this season. Potter's men had just 33 per cent possession and two shots on target. It was a point gained by determination, blocks, dogged defending and sheer physical effort.

Neal Maupay's 30th minute goal - his eighth of a season - cancelled out Edna Stevens excellent first half strike.

"It was a good point against an opponent that makes it difficult at a very hostile ground," Potter said. "When you come here you know you need to earn it and we did.

"We fought, we battled and we didn't play as well as we have done. But we have played better and lost. We are at the stage where we are fighting for everything and it was important we showed those qualities.

"You have to credit the opposition, it wasn't that we didn't want to play, we just couldn't. I came here with Swansea last season and we won, and we won in a certain way but we are probably not in that moment to play like that at the moment coming here. So what you have to do is play to the attributes you have."

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder also praised Albion's ability to adapt their style. "It was a change of approach from Brighton. They are possession based but they didn't play out from the back in the first half and went longer.

"I enjoyed the game. Credit to the Brighton boys. People think they are soft but I didn't see anything soft from their point of view. Blocks, tackles a full-blooded encounter and always dangerous."