During the recent Brighton fans’ forum one lady stood-up and asked Graham Potter if he could bring the excitement back into her life.
The supporter was of course referring to last season’s lacklustre performances on the road and a rather red-faced Potter politely responded that he and the team would do their level best.
Well, we are just one game into the season and that supporter’s excitement levels must have exceeded anything experienced throughout the whole of last campaign.
It could not have gone any better for Potter and his team at Watford. Three goals, including one for £20m signing Neal Maupay, a cracking team performance and a clean sheet.
Other than a 10 minute period at the start of the second half, the team managed the game well and looked at ease in a 3-5-2. All of Potter’s decisions worked perfectly as his main summer additions Adam Webster, Aaron Mooy, Maupay and, perhaps surprisingly, Leandra Trossard began on the bench. Just to cap things off for Potter, both of his impact substitutes, Maupay and Florin Andone came off the bench and scored. Not bad for his first match in charge in the Premier League.
“To score three away from home and not concede is a dream,” Potter said. “The preparation was first class. Overall I thought we tried to do what we set out to do and then you just need a bit of luck and quality.
“We’ve worked hard every day. There is a really good foundation from what has been done previously - our job is to get better. You can see how they have applied themselves, now we dust ourselves down and don’t get carried away.”
In Potter’s first competitive game in charge of Albion, his side took the lead in the 29th minute after a ball across the box from Pascal Gross was turned into his own net by Abdoulaye Doucoure.
As Watford looked for the equaliser in the second half, Brighton struck again with substitute Andone firing home with his first touch of the ball after coming on just one minute previously.
The three points were sealed when debutant Maupay expertly rounded Ben Foster before tapping home. It was Albion’s first win at Vicarage Road in five attempts.
“It’s an incredible feeling today,” said Maupay. “I’ve made my debut in a win that includes a clean sheet and a goal for myself, so I’m really happy.
“I feel really proud and blessed. I’ve only been here for a few days but the boys have welcomed me very nicely. The boys worked really hard and we totally deserved the win.”