Potter Reveals Murray Fitness Concerns As Brighton Go Through

Potter Reveals Murray Fitness Concerns As Brighton Go Through

Graham Potter hailed his Brighton side as they overcame a potential banana skin against Bristol Rovers in the Carabao Cup.

Graham Potter hailed his Brighton side as they overcame a potential banana skin against Bristol Rovers in the Carabao Cup.

Brighton’s clash with the League Two side had been earmarked as an upset waiting to happen, but the Seagulls edged through to book their place in the third round of the competition.

Potter took a gamble, making 11 changes to the side that lost to Southampton at the weekend but thankfully for him and everyone concerned with the Seagulls, it did not backfire, although they were made to sweat by Rovers.

Aaron Connelly had put the Seagulls in front but when Tom Nichols equalised for the home side it looked as though the tie was heading for a penalty shoot-out.

Step up veteran striker Glenn Murray, who again showed his class at the age of 35 with the winning goal in the second minute of added-on time.

Speaking after the game, Potter admits he feared for the fitness of Murray before the veteran striker scored the winner and was worried he might have to be withdrawn before his match-winning contribution.

Related: Potter Looking For Belief From Seagulls

Thankfully he managed to stay on and the rest is history.

“He was stretching a bit, so I was just a bit concerned,” Potter said. “But we asked him and he said he was fine to get through, no problem.

“At 1-1 and the clock ticking down, you think Glenn would obviously be a penalty taker for us.”

Regarding the performance itself, Potter was delighted with the team effort considering so many changes had been made to his side.

And on a night when the likes of Norwich lost to lower league opposition, Potter was just happy to go through.

“It was a really pleasing evening for us,” he added. “It was a tough game. Bristol Rovers made it difficult for us and you’d expect that.

“But overall, the application and effort from the players was really pleasing. Out of possession we worked really hard. It wasn’t easy, there was a lot of direct play going on, but we dealt with it in the main quite well.

“Sometimes when it’s a team coming together on the pitch for the first time it lacks a bit of cohesion, but overall happy for the players to get the minutes and to go through.”

Connolly’s opener represented a first senior goal for the academy product and Potter was delighted to see him get off the mark.

“He’s got that knack of scoring, which is a nice knack to have,” said Potter. “He’s a young lad with a lot to learn, of course, but he’s worked really well with us in pre-season and it was important for him to play tonight.”

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