Graham Potter: My previous victories over Chris Wilder's Sheffield United count for little

Brighton and Hove Albion head coach Graham Potter has faced Chris Wilder twice during his managerial career and won on both occasions.

Friday, 20th December 2019, 9:12 am
Updated Friday, 20th December 2019, 9:23 am
Graham Potter guided his former club Swansea to the double over Sheffield United last season

Potter was in charge of Swansea in the Championship last season and his team beat Sheffield United 2-1 at Bramall Lane and later that season completed the double with a narrow 1-0 triumph at the Liberty Stadium.

Sheffield United went on to gain promotion and are a different animal this season in the Premier League. Wilder's men arrive unbeaten away from home and are seventh - just four off the Champions League places.

“I saw them last year in the Championship and I understood how hard it is to play against them," Potter said. "If you have that collective understanding and belief, along with confidence in each other, then I think you can go a long way and achieve fantastic results.

“They’ve got 25 points and the third best defensive record in the league, if they repeat those achievements in the second half of the campaign then they will have had a fantastic season.

“It’s nice for the competition that a side can come up from the league below and do so well. Perhaps people were looking at them as the whipping boys of the division and to go back down, but football isn’t as simple as that."

Potter has huge respect for the success Wilder has achieved with the Blades and said the 52-year-old, who is a lifelong supporter of Sheffield United, has brought clarity and an identity to the club.

“He’s done amazingly well and it’s a career to be proud of. I had a lot of respect for Chris anyway having seen his work first-hand in the Championship,” Potter added.

“I’m sure he’ll be able tell you better than me, but I’d imagine he’s had some bumps in the road, but he’s kept going and kept learning. Management is never a straight-line journey.

“The job he’s done at Sheffield United is amazing. They were struggling when he arrived, but he’s come in and given them a real clarity and identity. Everyone buys into it and you can see the power of that way of working.”