Risk and reward: Graham Potter's Brighton and Adam Webster will continue to build from the back

Playing out from the back can be a high-risk strategy but it's one Adam Webster and Brighton are determined to continue with this season.

Friday, 4th October 2019, 10:46 pm
Brighton and Hove Albion defender Adam Webster was backed by manager after his error against Chelsea

Albion have played some impressive football this campaign but they were caught out at Chelsea last Saturday during the 2-0 loss. Webster, who conceded a penalty during the match after giving the ball away, remains confident Brighton are playing the right way under Graham Potter.

"It’s frustrating for me to let it get to that," said Webster ahead of their match against Tottenham Hotspur at the Amex Stadium. "But we are trying to build from the back and we are going to make mistakes along the season. The game has changed a lot, even this year with the new rule in being able to get the ball in the box from a goal-kick. The way that teams are playing now has changed. It is just about knowing when to do that and when you can play."

Brighton will remain true to their possession based style and also attack from the back against Harry Kane and co. "We have license to do it. if I go then one of the midfielders will know to drop in and everyone has to cover round. That is the same if Dunky or Burny does it. So it gives us that freedom to do it if it does open up. Especially in a couple of the away games it does do that and we have taken advantage of it.

“It is (Tottenham) a big game for us, if we play well then hopefully we can get the result we want as long as we are giving everything and the performances are good then we give ourselves a chance. Hopefully that starts Saturday and we can push on from there.”

Webster has performed well since his arrival from Bristol City for £20m last summer. He made his debut in the most testing of circumstances at the Etihad, while at Stamford Bridge, aside from the first goal, he was one of Albion's best players against an impressive Chelsea.

Webster was signed because of his defensive qualities and composure on the ball. He fits well with Potter's style and the head coach was quick to defend his man. "I take full responsibility because I ask them to play that way," insisted Potter.

Brighton are far from the only ones this season who have experienced problems building from the back. Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was caught out against Southampton last weekend while Arsenal's defenders looked extremely uncomfortable as they blew a two-goal lead at Watford.

Potter is very unlikely to change his style and why should he? Brighton have been good to watch and are unlucky not to have more points from their first seven Premier League matches.

Previously, the head coach said he can point to many examples where a team lose the ball higher up the pitch and concede goals. Which is true but higher up the pitch opportunities still remain to stop the danger. One false move in the penalty box and - more often than not - it is punished immediately.

Ultimately, it's styles and tactics but if you want to control matches and possession, then building from the back, with players that are comfortable doing so, is the way to go. But as we saw last Saturday, it's also a risky business. It's sounds like quite the conundrum - but not for Potter.

“I’m convinced and I’m confident [that this is the right style for Brighton],” Potter says. “It’s not necessarily about styles. Football is a balance between defence and attack. I’ve been working and trying to play football in the way we’ve been playing. It doesn’t make sense to get to this point and not be that.

“My challenge as a coach is to convince but it’s always collaborative. The players have to feel it makes sense and that it helps their careers and so far they’ve been great.”