GRAHAM POTTER has revealed he wears a DISGUISE when going out in Brighton.
And he loves the city so much because sometimes he sees people walking around dressed up as BATMAN … but he dislikes seagulls!
Brighton boss Graham Potter sat down with Justin Allen ahead of the new season
How Graham Potter would look like if he disguised himself as Batman
The Albion boss, 47, is a superhero himself on the Sussex coast after leading the club to an incredible ninth-place in the Premier League, the highest top-flight finish in their history.
And ahead of their opener at Manchester United on Sunday, Potter has told SunSport how altering his appearance can help him enjoy life beside the seaside uninterrupted.
He said: “I live in Hove and love the lifestyle. I like walking along the seafront and my family enjoy the South Downs too.
“I can be in the countryside on my own and, if I disguise myself by wearing a cap and glasses, I can also be alone on the beach.
“I go for 5k jogs along the seafront — which I do with extreme reluctance because I’m not a big running fan. I do 30 minutes and that’s it.
“By wearing the cap and glasses, I look so bad no-one can think I’m remotely connected with anything athletic!”
It is the quirkiness of the city Potter loves most and he added: “Brighton and Hove is unique. You can see someone walking down the street wearing a Batman costume just because they want to. I love that.”
But Potter admits he is not fond of those pesky seagulls.
The Brighton boss either has to fend them off from stealing his food or he and his wife Rachel get woken by their squawks at dawn.
He laughed: “One of our three boys has lost a burger to a hungry seagull. Thankfully I haven’t because I’m good at protecting my food. The burgers here are massive!
“If there was one thing my wife would change, it’s the racket seagulls make at 5am.”
Potter has established himself as one of the top English managers in three seasons at the Amex.
Brighton and Hove is unique. You can see someone walking down the street wearing a Batman costume just because they want to. I love that.”
So it is a surprise one of the bigger Premier League clubs has not swooped like a Seagull to scoop Potter up.
But Potter said: “The Premier League is a global brand so, if you’re going to be meritocratic, whoever is the best person to run those teams should get those jobs. It doesn’t matter where they come from.
Brighton’s Graham Potter has established himself as one of the country’s top bosses
“It’s down to us British coaches to improve and work hard to get those opportunities when they come and if that’s what we want.
Potter is one of the favourites to replace Southgate when his Three Lions reign ends — but would the England job float his boat?
He said: “It isn’t something I’ve thought about because I’m so immersed in this challenge — and I’ve only been in the Premier League three years.”
Potter wants to manage at the highest possible level though.
So can Brighton go any further and have a tilt at a European spot … or is that unrealistic?
He said: “I’d say both. On the resources available to us, it’s unrealistic. But at the same time, you need to focus on yourselves and believe in your ideas and what you’re doing. Everyone wants ambition and everyone wants the dream.
It would be boring if we thought no club outside the top six could get in there. You need a Leicester story and teams like that to break the dominance of the financially rich.”
“You need to hold two positions — respect how hard the Premier League is so get enough points to stay in the division.
“Then you must rely on being absolutely perfect and other clubs being far from perfect. Then anything can happen. You must always keep the belief.
“It would be boring if we thought no club outside the top six could get in there. You need a Leicester story and teams like that to break the dominance of the financially rich.
“It’s also about creating memories and moments for our fans — like our 4-0 win against Manchester United, the 1-0 victory at Tottenham, our 3-1 success against West Ham. Those memories you’re creating around the club are so important.”
Graham Potter has enjoyed creating special memories for the Seagulls fans
Brighton’s success has led to them having top talent picked off.
But Potter says selling their top talent actually strengthens their chances of attracting players.
He said: “We don’t necessarily have to sell players. It must be the right offer. Everyone wants to be in a situation where they win.
“Ben for example had a good opportunity at a top-six club, we got a good fee and Arsenal a good player.
Buying players is easy. Anyone can buy. Selling is the difficult part.”
“If you think by making a sale it’ll help you improve at some point by using the resources generated to keep moving your club forward then those are the tough decisions you make.
“Buying players is easy. Anyone can buy. Selling is the difficult part.
“It’s an important part of our recruitment. We can persuade players to sign even when salary-wise we’re not at the same level as others.
“There must be a reason for someone to come to Brighton. One of those is we can help players improve and provide a platform where, if they have the right mindset and can take responsibility, their career can flourish.”
Many pundits believe that if Brighton had a top-quality striker last year, they would now be preparing for European football.
Moises Caicedo celebrates scoring in Brighton’s 4-0 crushing of Manchester United
Graham Potter has been encouraged by Danny Welbeck’s fitness and form
But Potter insists getting a striker in during this window is not a priority.
He said: “We’ve Danny Welbeck, Neil Maupay, Deniz Undav, Julio Enciso, Evan Ferguson. Leandro Trossard can play as an advanced striker. We’ve got options.
“We try to improve the people we’ve already got.
“Danny has taken a positive step for us over the last year. He’s injury free and enjoying his football.
“After my second season here, when our performances didn’t equate to goals and therefore wins, you can understand fans asking that question.
“It’s an easy answer to say, ‘Go and sign someone for £20m and everything will be solved.’ The reality is it doesn’t guarantee what you want.
“You must look at it holistically as you can and make the right decision. If we don’t think there’s someone out there who will improve us, we won’t do it.”
Female boss in EFL or Prem coming soon …
BRIGHTON boss Graham Potter believes the day a woman becomes manager of a professional English men’s team is fast approaching.
The Lionesses’ glorious success at the Euros has been helped by the investment clubs like Brighton have ploughed into the women’s game.
And Potter loved watching England’s thrilling 2-1 win at Wembley against Germany on Sunday to end the nation’s 56-year await to land a major football title.
He said: “I believe that day is coming soon. We want equal opportunities. We want the best people to be given the chance to do the job and on that basis it doesn’t matter if you’re male or female.
“You have to hope that can happen soon. I’m sure it will too.”
Brighton themselves have already sold 800 season tickets for this coming Women’s Super League campaign — a 250 per cent increase on last season’s figures. They averaged over a thousand but it is hoped that figure will be swelled.
Potter added: “I’m certain everyone in the women’s game will say that the investment from professional clubs has been absolutely crucial across the board.
“And the decisions the FA have made in investing in the women’s game at grassroots has helped.
“As much as we can say we can do this or that, you can’t do much without investment and resources. The more that goes in, the more chance you have of success and pushing the game forward.
“England winning the tournament is exactly what the game needed and it’s exciting to think there is now an aspiration and surge in interest.”
United demise no surprise
MANCHESTER UNITED’S recent Premier League demise is just the natural cycle of football — says Graham Potter.
He takes his Seagulls to Old Trafford on Sunday — with United still bruised from their 4-0 drubbing on the Sussex coast in May.
Potter is hoping Brighton can once again be a thorn in their side as the Erik ten Hag gets underway.
He said: “No-one stays top forever. There are cycles in football and you must ride them out when they come your way and put up a plan and say this is how you can go forward.
Erik ten Hag’s United reign starts at home against Brighton on Sunday
“Erik ten Hag is a top manager. I’ve never met him personally and only know of him through watching his Ajax side.
“I especially enjoyed his team that got through to the semi-final of the Champions League. That was an amazing team.
“So he has had a successful career at Ajax and I’m sure he will do a good job at Manchester United. We just hope we can delay that job for a week or so.”
Potter believes United will be a million miles different from the team they faced at the Amex and particularly rated their summer signing of Christian Eriksen.
He said: “Christian is quality. I’m expecting a very different Manchester United on Sunday.
“We caught them at a low moment from their perspective and a good moment from our perspective. It’ll be a completely different game.
“Old Trafford will be bouncing, I’m pretty sure, because it’s a new start, a new coach and they will want to get off on the front foot and get off to a positive start with fantastic players and a great manager. So we know the challenge.”
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