Graham Potter's glowing message to battered and bruised Tariq Lamptey after brave debut at Leicester
Albion boss Graham Potter was full of praise for Tariq Lamptey after his fine debut during the 0-0 draw at Champions League chasing Leicester
Lamptey, who joined Albion from Chelsea for £3m last January, was handed his first start and the 19-year-old showed tremendous courage against a Leicester team flying high in third place.
Lamptey was close to being replaced in the first half after a hefty collision with James Madison saw him land heavily and also suffer a nasty cut to the mouth that required stitches.
Moments later, he was also on the receiving end of a rash challenge from Ndidi that saw Lamptey crash to the ground at full speed.
The former England youth international may stand at just 5ft 4in but he displayed a toughness that shows he can cope with the physicality of the Premier League.
"Tariq Lamptey is a top boy," said Potter who fielded Brighton's youngest ever team in the Premier League with an average age of 25. "He made his debut and carried on with a massive cut.
"He was outstanding, a great character and good on the ball. He has a big future ahead of him. He has pace, is strong on the ball and will get better.
"We are still fighting, we have to fight all the way. We have to focus on the next match against Manchester United and we can use the time to recover. From the last two games, you can see we are ready for the fight.
"We had to battle," said Potter. "I thought the first half we were really good, carried a threat and reduced a good side to not too much. We defended as a team but I am proud of the performance, endeavour and work rate to keep a clean sheet."
Lamptey added: “I have dreamt of this moment since I was a little boy. It’s every footballer’s dream to play in the Premier League. It’s a dream come true, it’s a proud moment for me and my family.
“I think I did well, I just want to say thank you to the gaffer and to the team because they helped me a lot. I worked hard for this moment, so hopefully it can be the first of many.
“It was a great challenge to come up against some really top players and test my ability, you just have to take the game as it comes.
“I think it just shows the hard work that everyone did over lockdown. Everyone works so hard in training and the tempo has been high.
“As you can see, we can go for the full 90 minutes and we are doing everything the gaffer wants us to do. I think the training we've done showed in the game, so we can kick on from here.”
The big moment of the match came when Aaron Connolly chased a long pass forward by Aaron Mooy and was clumsily brought down by James Justin.
Of Neal Maupay's missed first half penalty, Potter added, "Sometimes Kasper Schmeichel is good at saving them and it happens in football, you move on. Leicester came back in the second half but we defended the situation well and overall a good point
"It is part of life as a forward, some days it goes for you and others it does not. You have to treat them the same and move on. Neal Maupay is a great character, works hard for the team and he and Aaron Connolly posed a threat."
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers was satisfied despite being unable to break down Brighton in the goalless draw at the King Power Stadium.
Leicester have now won only two of their last 10 games as they look to seal a top-four finish in the Premier League, but Rodgers was pleased with elements of his team's performance.
He said "I didn't think we were very good in the first half. We got into some good positions, but didn't have very good movement off the ball. Kasper made a good stop from the penalty.
"I thought second half we were much better."
A message from the Editor, Gary Shipton: In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news, I am asking you to please purchase a copy of our newspapers.
With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspapers.
Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.
Stay safe, and best wishes.