If 40 factors symbolize the road between security and relegation, then Brighton are effectively over 1 / 4 of the way in which to their final goal forward of any Premier League season.
4 league victories from their opening 5 video games – a report solely bettered by Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United – has seen the Seagulls proudly perch themselves within the prime 4. In all competitions it is six wins from seven.
With few envisaging such a sensational begin, the scramble to unearth the secrets and techniques behind Brighton’s success is in full swing, and a buoyant Graham Potter is all too joyful to reveal.
Having fielded over an hour’s value of questions from a media cohort determined for his or her nugget of perception into Brighton’s begin, Potter reclines again on his chair, exhales, and indulges in a stretch of accomplishment. His work with the media is completed, for now, however the identical can’t be stated for issues on the pitch.
“No, is the reply,” Potter solely advised Sky Sports activities when requested if Brighton’s begin had laid the foundations for a season unshackled from the pressures of avoiding relegation. “The pattern is just too small.
“It is a fantastic factors return for us, 4 wins out of 5 within the Premier League is nothing to complain about. It is a good begin, there is no such thing as a level denying that, however we have got a protracted strategy to go this season. If we expect too far forward or get carried away and assume we have cracked it then we have got issues.”
Removed from being the same old hyperbole peddled by managers to fight complacency, Potter’s insistence nothing has been achieved but, apart from being true, is rooted in his evaluation of Brighton’s performances this season.
Have been you to leap to the conclusion that Brighton’s begin and lofty league place constituted the very best interval of Potter’s tenure on the south coast, you could be appropriate, however to the person within the scorching seat it is not fairly so simple as that.
“That is the fascinating factor about soccer,” the Seagulls boss explains. “Outcomes-wise it is onerous to argue, completely. Outcomes make every part higher.
“For those who’re a membership that has performed seven video games, gained six, saved 4 clear sheets and also you’re saying issues should not good, there’s something drastically incorrect.
“On the identical time, if I had been to take a 5 or six-game spell, we most likely performed higher final yr when it comes to simply pure efficiency, however we did not get the outcomes. That is definitely time for us, however we aren’t getting carried away.”
Brighton earned an undesirable fame for failing to transform a plethora of encouraging performances into factors final season, defying the ‘anticipated objectives’ statistics to attain fewer and concede extra all through the marketing campaign.
Against this, the opening 5 matches of the 2021/22 season have seen the Seagulls rating extra and concede fewer than anticipated en path to gathering 12 factors from a doable 15, however what’s been behind the transformation?
Have the gamers all out of the blue improved over the summer time, or is a tactical masterstroke from Potter accountable? The Brighton boss provided a considerably extra modest evaluation.
“Final yr we had been fairly unfortunate,” he admitted. “I can say that now the season is completed, I could not say it whereas we had been going by way of it.
“However, on the identical time, we’ve got turned little moments in our favour, we have discovered about one another and developed stronger relationships as a workforce. However I can not say there was a magic components as a result of it is not like we’re really enjoying higher.
“We all know the margins have been on our facet, we all know we have been fortunate, we all know we have performed lots effectively and the boys have been sensible, however we’re nonetheless a humble group that wishes to maintain bettering. That’s what we’ve got to deal with.
“We’re not at our most, we will enhance lots. Whether or not that equates to outcomes is one other factor as a result of that’s the great thing about the sport, typically individuals battle with that. You are able to do plenty of issues effectively in soccer and be the higher workforce however nonetheless not win.”
Of all of the venues Brighton will play on this season, the one the place Potter will hope such a prophecy is unfounded is Selhurst Park.
The intimidating, atmospheric residence of Crystal Palace is the place the Seagulls head subsequent as their encouraging begin to the season faces a stern examination on Monday Evening Soccer.
With Patrick Vieira nonetheless discovering his toes at Palace and within the Premier League, expectant Brighton followers can be forgiven for considering their facet might experience this wave of confidence to a different consequence, however Potter is below no illusions in regards to the problem that lies forward on derby day.
“It’ll be a tricky recreation, it all the time is,” Potter added. “Palace are at the beginning of their journey along with a brand new supervisor and new gamers. They’re doing effectively; they’ve made begin and I feel they’ll get higher the longer they’re with one another.
“They may wish to win, the gang are very vocal there, it should be a fantastic ambiance and we’re wanting ahead to it. We’re attempting to arrange as regular, be as constant as we will, however perceive the eagerness and feeling in a recreation like this.
“You have to perceive we have performed effectively when it comes to the factors we’ve got received. On a outcomes foundation we’re joyful, however we focus extra on what we’re doing, how we will win the sport and the way can we play higher and enhance. For those who deal with that then you do not get carried away or really feel overconfident.”
Potter pointed to a shift in luck underpinning Brighton’s excellent begin. That will or could not inform the entire story, however what does is that the Seagulls have been primed to grab any benefit that has come their method this season. Proceed doing that, beginning at Selhurst, and there aren’t any bounds to how excessive they’ll soar.