Graham Potter explains Sheffield United 'sucker punch' after frustrating draw

Brighton and Hove Albion head coach Graham PotterBrighton and Hove Albion head coach Graham Potter
Brighton and Hove Albion head coach Graham Potter
Brighton and Hove Albion boss Graham Potter was left with mixed emotions following their 1-1 draw against 10-man Sheffield United at the Amex Stadium

Brighton, who are two points above the relegation zone, have now won just one of 16 top-flight fixtures on home soil in 2020.

rock-bottom Blades bounced back from the 40th-minute dismissal of John Lundstram to lead courtesy of a deflected second-half strike from Premier League debutant Jayden Bogle.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But United were forced to settle for only a second point of a miserable campaign after Albion substitute Danny Welbeck volleyed home an equaliser three minutes from time.

Brighton were then so close to sealing a victory when second half substitute Alireza Jahanbakhsh hit the bar with a close range header.

“I thought we were the better team (in the first half), the red card then changes the complexion of the game," said Potter.

“It becomes a bit more defence versus attack. The onus is on us and we got caught with the sucker punch in terms of the breakaway.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We had chances in the second half but the longer it goes, the more you’re thinking it could be a really disappointing afternoon for us.

“In the end, I’m pleased that the players got a reward for their constant pressure but, at the same time, we are disappointed with only one point.

“We had one headed onto the bar, a miss from inside the six-yard box, a few other shots. It's not easy to create clear-cut chances against Sheffield United. We did enough to score a couple, but we didn't.

“We huffed and puffed and got caught around the edge a bit too much, but they defended with so many bodies and there wasn't much space to play in.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Credit to the players as they showed courage to keep going with the ball and to keep doing the right things and they got their reward.”

Chris Wilder was frustrated by Sheffield United’s inability to hang on for victory at Brighton but believes the 1-1 draw offers a “small step” in the right direction for his struggling side.

The South Yorkshire club, who halted an eight-game losing streak at the Amex Stadium, sit eight points from safety at the end of their 14th top-flight fixture.

“When you get that close, it’s disappointing not to see the game out,” said Blades boss Wilder.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Obviously down to 10 men for 50 minutes, it’s going to be a long afternoon.

“But the team showed some real qualities in terms of ambition to try and get that first goal – which we did – and determination and desire to keep the ball out of the back of the net, which they had until late on.

“A small step for us after Thursday night’s performance (a 3-2 loss to Manchester United), which I was content with. And today we were competitive.”

Midfielder Lundstram, making his 100th United appearance, was sent off after overrunning the ball and lunging at Seagulls defender Joel Veltman.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Referee Peter Bankes initially produced a yellow card, before upgrading the punishment to red having watched a replay of the incident on a pitchside monitor.

Wilder, who had not seen a replay of the tackle, fears the game is in danger of becoming a non-contact sport but said he would not be appealing against the decision.

“It must have been borderline because he had to go over to the monitor,” said Wilder.

“I have got to be careful what I say. I played and managed in the early part of my career in a world where it’s a contact sport. I still think everybody wants to see it as a contact sport, so it was a tight decision.