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Brighton boss Graham Potter not worried about tough run-in

Four of the Seagulls’ last five games are against sides in the top half of the division.

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Brighton boss Graham Potter has embraced the Seagulls’ difficult fixtures run-in (Nick Potts/PA)

Brighton boss Graham Potter has embraced the Seagulls’ difficult fixtures run-in (Nick Potts/PA)

Brighton boss Graham Potter has embraced the Seagulls’ difficult fixtures run-in (Nick Potts/PA)

Graham Potter believes Brighton’s record against the top sides offers them encouragement in their battle to avoid Premier League relegation.

Brighton host in-form Leeds on Saturday and four of their last five games are against sides in the top half, with Arsenal, Manchester City and West Ham all among their remaining fixtures.

The Seagulls are seven points clear of 18th-placed Fulham and probably one victory from guaranteeing a fifth straight season of top-flight football.

Brighton have beaten Liverpool and Tottenham this season and also taken points off Chelsea, Everton and West Ham.

Head coach Potter said: “We’ve seen from our record over this season and last that we’re capable of picking up points against any team.

“At the same time, you are capable of losing to any team and that’s the challenge of the toughest league in the world.

“I wouldn’t say it (the fixtures) concerns me because all the games in the Premier League are tough, there’s no easy ones.”

Brighton produced one of their best results of the season at Leeds in January when Neal Maupay’s first-half strike secured a 1-0 win.

Only six points separated the two sides after that game but, while Leeds’ impressive form has since moved them into ninth, Brighton have failed to break free of relegation danger.

“It was a real tricky moment for us,” Potter said of that Elland Road victory.

“It was our third game that week as we’d played Newport in the cup and we’d played Man City.

“We had show to resilience, character and intelligence in our play. It was a tight game, it could have been a draw, but it went our way.

“I’m expecting similar, a tough match, a high-tempo game and we have to be really good to get the points.

“Leeds have got threats all over the pitch. They can attack you through the sides and through the middle.

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“The intensity they play at is well documented. They defend and attack with aggression and if you don’t match that it’s going to be a tough afternoon.”

Brighton have gone over five-and-a-half hours without scoring since Danny Welbeck was on target in a 2-1 defeat at Manchester United on April 4.

Since then, Brighton have drawn a blank in goalless draws against Everton and Chelsea and in a 1-0 defeat to relegated Sheffield United.

“There’s always another opponent on the pitch and they can defend well,” Potter said when asked about Brighton’s problems in front of goal.

“Everton did that and so did Chelsea, who are another good team defensively .

“We didn’t attack as well as we would like against Sheffield United, but with a bit of luck we could have scored because the margins are quite small.

“We have to keep going, keep working, keep believing and be positive.”

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