Brighton v Valencia: Big chance for players to impress for opener at Watford

Graham Potter (Phil Westlake)
Graham Potter (Phil Westlake)

Brighton manager Graham Potter insists tonight’s match against Valencia is a big opportunity for players to impress ahead of next Saturday’s Premier League opener at Watford.

Brighton have enjoyed a largely successful pre-season, having recorded victories against FC Liefering and Crawley Town.

They went down 2-1 to Fulham before their morale boosting 4-0 win at Birmingham last Saturday.

Tonight’s match against the La Liga side is expected to be a significant step-up in quality as Potter looks to fine-tune his team ahead of Albion’s third season in the Premier League.

Valencia is Potter’s first match at the Amex following his appointment in May. It is also a tribute match in honour of former captain Bruno (above), who was recently appointed as a senior player development coach. The club will donate 25 per cent of the net gate receipt to local charities, to be selected by Bruno. “The away support in pre-season has been great,” said Potter, speaking to the Albion website after their victory at Birmingham. The fans have been fantastic with me and the team.

“But it will be nice to get back at home and play at the Amex in a really good game.

“Obviously it’s a big step up in terms of opposition but that’s what we need. It will be a nice night for Bruno as well. We need a good week of training and then we can look forward to that game.

“There is still a chance for players to impress in that match of course. We have a lot of training days to go and we will get the guys who didn’t play today some minutes.

“They will have time in 11 v 11 scenario this week to show as well. We can only pick 11 for these games and for the rest them, it doesn’t mean the door is shut, not at all.

“It’s the last game before the start of the season and we want to make sure we use it to be as competitive as we can come Watford.”

Potter also feels a full pre-season has allowed him to get his ideas across to the players. “We have a lot of work to do but I’m delighted with how the guys have applied themselves.

“No one is going to be perfect, there will be some bumps along the road but while the application is as it is, it’s fantastic for me as a coach to work with the players.

“We have and we need to try and improve and keep working.”