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Carabao Cup no ‘distraction’ for Brighton, says boss Graham Potter

Brighton and Hove Albion v Chelsea – Premier League – AMEX Stadium
(Image credit: Glyn Kirk)

Graham Potter has underlined the importance of Brighton’s Carabao Cup campaign, despite expecting to make wholesale changes for Thursday night’s second-round tie against Portsmouth.

Potter has vowed to use the fixture to give some of his fringe players the chance to stake their claims for a place in Sunday’s Premier League clash with Newcastle.

Adam Lallana and Ben White will both miss the game after hobbling off in the 3-1 defeat to Chelsea but are expected to be fit to face the Magpies.

Potter said: “We don’t see it as a distraction, we see it as an opportunity and a positive. We want to win the game and the team we put out will be a strong one.

“They will want to put the pressure on to play on Sunday and in the following games, and at this level every game is an opportunity to show what you can do and force yourself into situations.

“There will be changes – we had a Premier League game on Monday night and we’ve got another on Sunday and we’ve also got a squad who are desperate to play.”

Among those Potter could elevate to the starting line-up are midfielder Davy Propper and Dutch defender Joel Veltman, who remained on the bench for the loss to Frank Lampard’s men.

Veltman, who joined the Seagulls from Ajax this summer, figured in pre-season but Potter is determined to ease him into the first-team picture.

Potter added: “I’m really happy with Joel and I can see his quality every day. He contributes to the team meetings and he is a good character and personality.

“He hadn’t been with us for long before he went away with the Dutch national team so we probably just need to be a little bit more patient, and make sure that when he plays the conditions are right to show what he is about.”

Potter also believes the clash with their south coast rivals gives his side the chance to shrug off a spirited if ultimately disappointing performance against Chelsea.

“Performance-wise there were lots of positives but we’re still disappointed with the fact we came away with nothing and that’s where the work is, to turn the positive performances into positive results,” added Potter.

“The personality of the players was really good, I really liked their spirit on the pitch and it is something we can go forward with, I think.”