Europa Conference League final previewMay 24 | 4 min read
Graham Potter eyeing deep FA Cup run for Brighton after West Brom win
The Seagulls are nestled in mid-table in the Premier League.
Graham Potter stressed Brighton’s desire to do well in the FA Cup after Saturday’s third-round victory at West Brom.
Brighton capitalised on the hosts being reduced to 10 men as they turned things around from a goal down to secure a 2-1 win sealed by Neal Maupay’s strike in the eighth minute of extra-time.
Championship promotion-chasers West Brom had taken the lead via a 47th-minute Callum Robinson finish before having Cedric Kipre sent off after he picked up bookings in quick succession with just over 20 minutes of normal time to go.
Substitute Jakub Moder subsequently fired in an equaliser in the 81st minute, then teed up Maupay’s winner.
Seagulls boss Potter, whose side are ninth in the Premier League, was asked if, with their relative comfort in that competition this season, it felt as if the FA Cup was a trophy they could really attack.
He said: “We’ll try our best, that’s for sure. It was important for us to go through.
“We wanted to win, we picked a team with that in mind, to win, and we’re delighted that we have.
“As you can see from results in this competition, it’s not straightforward.”
Other results from Saturday’s third-round matches included top-flight Newcastle and Burnley being knocked out by League One Cambridge and Championship Huddersfield respectively.
Starting with a side showing seven changes from the 3-2 league win at Everton the previous weekend, Brighton – FA Cup runners-up in 1983 and semi-finalists in 2019 – were twice thwarted in the first half at the Hawthorns by good saves from goalkeeper David Button, playing against his old club, as he denied Danny Welbeck and Maupay.
Button, having been beaten by Moder’s effort, then made a third impressive stop to keep out an Alexis Mac Allister shot late in normal time, before Maupay sent the winner past him.
Button played while West Brom’s regular number one Sam Johnstone served a suspension, following his sending off in the 1-1 Championship draw against Cardiff on January 2.
That was one of two red cards for Baggies players in that match, with Alex Mowatt also given marching orders, and Kipre’s dismissal on Saturday made it six for Valerien Ismael’s men in their last 12 outings.
Ismael, whose side are fourth in the second tier, described Kipre’s red card as “again the game-changer”.
The Frenchman added: “At the beginning (of the season) we played with a strong team, we got the results, and after, it started – with injury, with Covid and with red cards, and you punish yourself all the time.
“Then every time you need to manage every game, to find the solution to compensate. You can do it for one game but week in, week out it will be difficult to get the result you want.”
He added: “The fact is we were very strong with 11 players against a Premier League side, we were in control, and then you get the red card, and it’s another game. We need to speak about those situations.”