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Graham Potter concerned by negative impact of suspensions on Brighton squad

The Seagulls have had six red cards so far this season – more than any other club.

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Neal Maupay, number nine, was sent off after the full-time whistle for Brighton at Wolves (Naomi Baker/PA)

Neal Maupay, number nine, was sent off after the full-time whistle for Brighton at Wolves (Naomi Baker/PA)

Neal Maupay, number nine, was sent off after the full-time whistle for Brighton at Wolves (Naomi Baker/PA)

Brighton head coach Graham Potter admits he has some concerns over the negative impact suspensions are having on his squad.

Both Neal Maupay and captain Lewis Dunk are banned for Saturday’s Premier League visit of West Ham having been sent off in last weekend’s defeat at Wolves.

Those two dismissals, Maupay’s coming after the final whistle as he remonstrated with the officials, means the Seagulls have had six red cards so far this season – more than any other club.

Brighton host West Ham having been assured of their survival following Burnley’s win over Fulham earlier this week.

But asked if he is worried about the impact the number of suspensions are having, Potter replied: “Well, yes.

“I think you have to be concerned because that is a time when you have got players who are not available.

“For every player you lose, you have to find a solution and adjust the team.

“It is part of the game and in an ideal world we don’t want it to happen but when you lose a player, whether it is through injury or suspension, the team has to readjust and that is where you can lose a little bit of performance.

“We have managed to navigate it pretty well but still, we can improve in that area.”

Potter and the Brighton hierarchy are now able to prepare for a fifth successive season in the Premier League.

With three games remaining, they are also just four points off equalling their best points return since being promoted in 2017.

Potter was full of praise for how his side dealt with the tougher moments of their season and insists he does not anticipate a major overhaul of the squad this summer.

“We’ve got a good honest group who have stuck together,” he added.

“We’ve had moments where we’ve struggled, but it’s been dealt with in a calm, professional and honest way. You’re not going to go through a season where everything is perfect and not have setbacks.

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“It’s how you deal with them and we’ve always done that. That means you can keep your points tally ticking over.

“One thing I would say is that I am happy with this group. It is not like I can sit here and say this group is at its maximum and they can’t get better. They can and that is what is exciting for us.

“I am not desperate (for the transfer window to open) but the job of a football club when it does is to look and see ways to improve and strengthen the group. We will be no different at that time.”

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