Graham Potter: Brighton boss encourages players to get vaccinated after losing family member to Covid-19

Graham Potter has encouraged his Brighton players to get vaccinated against Covid-19 after revealing the virus claimed the life of a family member.

The Premier League confirmed 11 new positive cases from the latest round of testing on Monday but while vaccination is not mandatory for players, Brighton boss Potter has recommended that everyone gets as protected as possible.

“For many reasons that’s the sensible thing to do,” said Potter.

“I’ve first-hand experience of a family member who wasn’t vaccinated and unfortunately lost their life with the illness.

“It’s something I would encourage, of course, and it’s important for everybody in their own situation to consider what to do.”


Joel Veltman, who missed Brighton’s opening-day win at Burnley, will also be absent for Saturday’s home game with Watford as he continues to self-isolate after being deemed a close contact of a positive case.

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The Amex Stadium is set to host a capacity crowd for the first time in 18 months but Potter has no concerns about the safety of his coaching staff and players.

“I trust everything will be done that is possible in terms of keeping everybody safe,” he said.

“I trust the club and the protocols that will be in place. It’s part of the next step of us trying to hopefully get through this situation and get back as close to normality as it can be.”

Brighton and Hove Albion

Potter, meanwhile, hailed Watford counterpart Xisco Munoz for quickly handing the Hornets a new “identity”.

Munoz took the reins in December and steered Watford to promotion before presiding over last weekend’s 3-2 win over Aston Villa.

“They are very strong,” said Potter. “They might be newly promoted, but it wasn’t so long ago that they were in the FA Cup final and finishing in a good position in the Premier League.

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“They have some high-quality players and it’s not like they are not used to this level.

“They’ve done a great job getting promoted at the first time of asking.

“They’ve created an identity and a clarity of playing that suits the players they have, they’ve done really well and will be tough opposition for us.”

The Premier League’s opening weekend threw up a host of goals across the division, with Potter expecting more of the same while teams settle into the new campaign.

“I think it was a little bit like that at the start of last season too,” said Potter. “Maybe teams haven’t quite got their rhythm, not at their full potential and mistakes happen.

“Mistakes often lead to goals because of the attacking players on the pitch.

“The crowd will have a role as well, it’s another factor to deal with and get used to again.

“But there’s good players, positive play, intensity which creates goal chances and goals.”

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