Brighton boss Graham Potter on attempt to turn Elland Road crowd and fairness of Leeds United result

Brighton boss Graham Potter credited Leeds United for their late comeback and felt a point was a fair result at Elland Road.

By Graham Smyth
Sunday, 15th May 2022, 5:18 pm

The Seagulls were by far the better side in the first half and deserved their 1-0 lead, although Leeds did come close to scoring on two occasions.

After the break it swung the way of the hosts who finally created some momentum and chances, before Joe Gelhardt's skill fashioned an opportunity for Pascal Struijk to be the hero with a stoppage-time equaliser.

A point keeps Leeds' survival hopes alive, lifting them out of the drop zone and putting the pressure back on Burnley, who have a game in hand.

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Potter was pleased with what he saw from his men in the first half and not too displeased with the result.

"I thought first half we were really strong, attacked well, had some good opportunities, maybe could have added the second, which I felt we needed," said the Brighton manager.

"If you look at the chances in the box, opportunities we had first half, clearly the better team but we needed to score the second. At half-time really satisfied with the performance, it's so difficult to control things completely here because of the crowd, the environment, the situation the opposition are in.

"Second half was better for Leeds than us, they had some opportunities. I can't sit here and say the point wasn't fair, our keeper's made a couple of saves, Danny [Welbeck] has a chance at 1-0 late which kills it. We tried our best. You could see a really spirited performance to maintain the integrity of the competition, we fought for everything, so did Leeds which you'd expect. Great experience for our guys. A point's fair, they had some chances, we had some chances."

LIFE LINE - Joe Gelhardt provided the quality needed to unlock a stoppage time equaliser for Pascal Struijk and Leeds United against Graham Potter's Brighton. Pic: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Potter was especially happy with how his players handled the Elland Road test, with Leeds once again enjoying a raucous support from their fans. At one stage in the second half there was anti-board chanting and Marcelo Bielsa's name rang out, but Potter rued not being able to turn the atmosphere completely to his side's advantage.

"Having the responsibility to play a Premier League team, to play with the understanding of what the situation is for the opponent, to deal with that - this place is one of the most hostile places you're going to get in football, in England certainly," he said.

"You have to respect that. If you get the second goal things maybe turn not so nice but we didn't. Fair play to Leeds they kept going, it's football, we go away with a content point. The players are disappointed, more so with the lateness of the [Leeds] goal but at the same time you have to give Leeds credit. I don't think it's fair to say we deserved three points, they pushed as well. They're fighting for their lives, they did that."