Roy Hodgson makes Graham Potter admission and gives his verdict on Brighton's leaky defence

Brighton and Crystal Palace are certainly fierce rivals on the pitch but the two managers have nothing but respect for each other ahead of Sunday's Premier League clash at Selhurst Park
Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson and Albion head coach Graham Potter have huge respect for each otherCrystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson and Albion head coach Graham Potter have huge respect for each other
Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson and Albion head coach Graham Potter have huge respect for each other

It's been far from a smooth ride for Graham Potter and his Brighton team as they search for their second win of the new Premier League season at Palace tomorrow.

Albion have played some decent football this campaign but three points from their first four matches is a disappointing return.

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Brighton's impressive 3-0 win at Newcastle remains their solitary triumph so far as they have suffered two painful and perhaps slightly unfortunate home defeats to Chelsea and Manchester United.

Against United they were the better team as they hit the woodwork five times and lost out to a penalty in the 100th minute. Last time out, just prior to the international break, they were well beaten 4-2 by a very strong looking Everton outfit.

In those four matches Brighton's new look defence of Ben White, Lewis Dunk and Adam Webster - with Solly March and Tariq Lamptey as the wing backs - have conceded 10 goals.

Despite this, Roy Hodgson said his Palace team, who have two wins from their first four, anticipate a tough outing against Brighton.

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"I have a very high opinion of Brighton and the job Graham Potter has done," the Palace boss said.

"They've lost games in recent months that they've fully deserved to win, we're preparing for a very good Brighton team."

Despite reaching double figures in the goals conceded column, Hodgson doesn't feel Albion have serious defensive issues.

"I don't myself identify an incredible defensive weakness," the former England manager said.

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"But if they're kind enough to think they've got to concede three goals every game, I'll certainly take it."

Potter himself accepts the need to improve the goals against but feels the new-look defensive unit will improve the more they play together.

"Football is always about balance," said Potter. "Ironically, even though we've conceded goals, our defensive performances in terms of chances created against us is actually good.

"We have defended quite well generally as a unit in games. Certain things have cost us goals, which we need to improve.

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"It's not been as a result of us defensively being all over the place. There's been a good understanding, a good defensive performance from the whole team, but clearly the more you play together the better that gets, as does our attacking play as well.

"We have to understand where the goals have come from, understand how we can do that better and then move forward."

Potter also spoke out his respect for Hodgson who has been in football management since 1976 and has helped stabilise Palace in the top flight since he arrived at Selhurst Park in 2017.

“Roy has class," said Potter. "He’s a football person and whenever he speaks, I like to listen to him.

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“He talks sense. He knows the game. His career has been amazing. He’s respected across Europe with the type of career he’s had.

“He’s had different experiences. He’s someone we should appreciate because he’s had a fantastic career.”