Graham Potter: "I'd go insane if I listened to all the critics," Brighton boss is purely focused on Bournemouth
Brighton and Hove Albion head coach Graham Potter refuses to be side-tracked by recent criticism of his tenure ahead of tonight's crucial battle at lowly Bournemouth.
Albion recorded a point from their 1-1 draw with relegation rivals Aston Villa last Saturday but many felt a poor second half display at the Amex cost them victory
Brighton remain just three points above the Premier League drop zone and will be determined to pick up more points in their battle for Premier League survival at Eddie Howe's team who are second from bottom.
Potter said, "I have to keep a sense of correct thinking and understand the situation that we’re in and understand that in an educated way as possible.
"Other people will misunderstand the situation or think about it in a different way and that’s fine. I just have to focus on the next match, trying to improve the team, work out how we can get better and then you have to analyse the season at the end.
"When you’ve played all the matches, you can say okay how's it been? Unfortunately we’re in a situation where half way through, we want to compare this time last year, to this time. You know the amount of times I've had to compare to this time last year? But it is what it is."
Potter has tried to implement a different style of play to the football witnessed under previous manager Chris Hughton. Hughton's pragmatic approach kept Albion in the Premier League for two seasons but often the football on display was tough for the fans to enjoy.
Potter's team are an interesting watch and when they have clicked, they have delivered some fine displays - but the points tally compared to this time last season is very similar.
"You are replacing a really respected guy who did a fantastic job," Potter added. "I've always said that I respect Chris Houghton who did an amazing job here to keep the club in the Premier League for two years. So of course you can understand why there’s that narrative and why there's that comment.
"But I can't listen to that, I'd be going insane wouldn’t I? Imagine listening to the opinion that’s out there, whether it’s good or bad because sometimes people say you’re great and you’re not so there’s no point listening to that either."
Left-back Dan Burn and winger Jose Izquierdo are still absent. Burn has not featured since New Year's Day after he sustained a broken collarbone while Izquierdo remains sidelined with a knee problem.
Provisional Brighton squad: Ryan, Alzate, Webster, Dunk, Bernardo, Mooy, Propper, Stephens, Trossard, Maupay, Murray, Montoya, Duffy, Bissouma, Jahanbakhsh, March.
Bournemouth will be without suspended defender Steve Cook after he was sent off during the weekend loss at bottom club Norwich.
Cherries boss Howe says full-back Lloyd Kelly, who has been out with a thigh problem, is "getting closer" to a top-flight debut following his summer switch from Bristol City.
Bournemouth remain without a host of injured players, including Jack Stacey, Charlie Daniels, Chris Mepham, David Brooks, Arnaut Danjuma, Jordon Ibe and Joshua King.