Ex-Brighton striker questions Graham Potter's contract extension after recent slide

Former Albion forward Gordon Smith admitted he was surprised when Graham Potter was swiftly issued a two-year contract extension earlier this season.

Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 12:02 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 12:03 pm
Brighton's Graham Potter signed a contract extension last November that takes him to 2025

Brighton began the campaign in positive fashion but a poor recent run has seen them slide to just three points above the relegation zone.

They are yet to record a victory or a clean sheet in 2020 and are second bottom in the Premier League form guide.

Potter took charge at the Amex in May 2019 and agreed a four-year contract. Six months later he was offered and signed a two-year extension that takes him to 2025.

Brighton striker Gordon Smith is challenged by Manchester United defender Gordon McQueen during the 1983 FA Cup Final at Wembley

Potter received huge praise at the start of the season and fans were impressed with the style of football achieved, largely with the same players he inherited from Chris Hughton's reign.

"He has continued the club's progress of recent years and brought a different approach with a new style of play, which has been embraced by players and supporters alike," said chairman Tony Bloom last November.

However, Smith, 65, who made 109 appearances for Brighton and scored for them in the 1983 FA Cup final against Manchester United has mixed views.

"We know that he hadn’t been in the job long," He said speaking on Love Sport Radio. "That was the biggest surprise for me. The fact he got a six-year contract having only been in the job a few months and it was all down to the basis that the club was playing nice football and the fans were enjoying it.

“Potter is spoken about very highly by the fans, they prefer the football they are playing as opposed to under Chris Hughton. Nevertheless, I think Chris Hughton set them up by recognising they were entering relegation territory by playing in such a way that they were fighting for all the points rather than playing in a certain kind of way.”

The ex-chief executive of the Scottish FA and former director of football at Glasgow Rangers added, "Maupay is a good goalscorer but he hasn’t scored for quite some time. He hasn’t scored for about eight games in that respect, although he’s a goalscorer he hasn’t been doing it on a regular basis.

“Of late, it hasn’t been working for them, they brought Glenn Murray back in because there was no doubt about it that the problem was they lacked a real goalscorer. No one else had been able to do the job he’d been doing for quite a few years, now they are starting him in the team because they fear there are no other goal scorers in the team.”