Potter praises Munoz for giving Watford ‘new identity’

News Desk
Xisco Munoz Watford

Brighton manager Graham Potter has praised Watford counterpart Xisco Munoz for helping the Hornets to form a new ‘identity’.

Brighton will host promoted Watford in Saturday’s Premier League clash at the Amex Stadium, with boss Potter suitably impressed by the Vicarage Road club’s manager.

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

Championship winners and losers (mostly Sheffield United)

And Brighton manager Potter admitted his side must be wary of this weekend’s visitors.

“They are very strong. 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,” said Potter.

“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.”

Danny Welbeck and Tariq Lamptey remain sidelined with hamstring problems.

Joel Veltman will miss the Watford clash as he continues to self-isolate, but Aaron Connolly will be back in contention having missed the Burnley trip due to personal issues.

The Seagulls pulled off an impressive 2-1 win at Burnley last weekend, battling back after leaking an early goal at Turf Moor.

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.”

Young midfielder Taylor Richards has signed a new three-year deal at the club, having joined from Manchester City in 2019.

He spent last season on loan at Doncaster but has impressed the Seagulls boss since he returned in the summer.

Potter added: “He had a very productive loan spell at Doncaster last season, and this new contract is a reward for his hard work and progress he’s made since he arrived.”