Graham Potter explains how Brighton battered Newcastle and makes Neal Maupay admission
Brighton players were focused and 'in the moment' throughout their superb 3-0 victory against relegation rivals Newcastle at the Amex Stadium.
Just one point separated Brighton and Newcastle last night and often these type of relegation matches result in tense, nerve jangling affairs with two teams petrified of making a mistake.
Newcastle boss Steve Bruce, deprived of his main attacking threats of Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin, must have looked at Brighton performances against Crystal Palace, West Brom, Burnley and Fulham and followed their blue print. Sit back deep, soak up the pressure and bank on the fact that Graham Potter's team will fail to find a way through.
The tactic worked a treat for Roy Hodgson and Sam Allardyce and it was working for Bruce up until the end of the first half when Leo Trossard expertly fired home his second goal in two games from the edge of the box.
To say it was well deserved is an under-statement. Brighton were excellent from the start and played with a freedom and style rarely seen by a team battling relegation at this stage of the season.
Danny Welbeck then doubled Brighton’s lead with a well-struck shot into the corner six minutes into the second half and Neal Maupay’s 68th-minute volley – his eighth of the season –sealed all three points.
The result leaves Brighton six points clear of the relegation zone, after securing only their second home league victory of the season.
Performance have not always delivered points for Brighton and the players have suffered recently against Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and West Brom.
"All credit to the players," said Potter after the Newcastle match. "Courage, attitude, personality they were fantastic.
"When they lost the ball, when they made a mistake, they reacted really well. Collectively they had a good understanding of what we are trying to do.
"They were in the moment and just focused on the game and on what we needed to do. There was a lot noise from outside but we can't control that.
"The boys were really focused and I'm really pleased for them because we have had to suffer.
"We have not had the results maybe we thought we should have but they have stuck with it and they have been rewarded with two good performances, one really really good performance tonight and obviously six points."
Potter also praised his striker Maupay ended his his recent goal drought with an excellent second half volley from Pascal Gross' right wing cross.
"I thought Neal worked really hard for the team. He did well tactically, he defended well from the front and reacted well when we lost the ball, which sets up other attacking possibilities.
"So really pleased for him. I think everyone is delighted for him."
Brighton's recent momentum will however be halted by the international break and Albion will next be action at Man United on April 4.
"It has come at a time where you just have to deal with it," Potter said."We will have a Sunday and relax with the family and then it is preparing again and hoping all our guys that go away come back safely and we will focus again for Man United."