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Graham Potter hails Adam Lallana's impact off the pitch

Graham Potter hails Adam Lallana's impact off the pitch
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The former England midfielder returns to Anfield on Wednesday evening.

Brighton boss Graham Potter admits Adam Lallana has made a greater contribution off the pitch than on it since arriving from Liverpool.

Former England midfielder Lallana returns to Anfield to face his old club on Wednesday evening having been restricted to just 10 Premier League starts for the Seagulls.

The 32-year-old's stuttering start with Brighton has recently been hindered by a groin issue and illness but Potter remains satisfied with the overall impact of his influential summer acquisition.

"We've been happy with Adam. He's been adapting to us, to the move down here, to play more of a regular role than he played at Liverpool recently," said Potter.

"He's been great off the pitch, great on the pitch.

"We would like to have him a bit more but we knew it was going to be that type of period where we both have to adapt to each other. It's more off the pitch that he has brought a real quality.

"He's good around the young players, helping them a lot and, at the same time, when he's on the pitch for us, he's influential for us."

Lallana struggled for game time during his final three seasons on Merseyside, which included Champions League glory and a Premier League title.

He limped off just eight minutes after coming on as a substitute during a 1-1 draw with Jurgen Klopp's champions at the Amex Stadium in late November and has made sporadic appearances since then, including a late cameo to help secure Sunday's much-needed 1-0 success over Tottenham.

Potter retains hopeful the player will eventually be available for selection week in, week out.

"There is no reason why that shouldn't happen," said the head coach.

"But we just have to take it step by step and how quickly that is – it doesn't necessarily matter, the most important thing is we've got Adam around.

"Sometimes we use him at the start of the game, sometimes we use him at the back of the game, depending on where he's at, and we know that's the situation.

"But he's ready to help us all the time and if he's not helping us on the pitch, he's helping us off the pitch, so it's a really good situation."

Buoyed by a first home league victory of the season, Brighton must swiftly refocus after superbly seeing off Jose Mourinho's Spurs.

The overdue success moved the 17th-placed Seagulls seven points clear of the relegation zone.

Potter is well aware of the imminent challenge facing his side, describing Liverpool as a "machine" and "one of the teams of modern times".

Asked about their threats, he replied: "They've got lots. Clearly the front three are very dangerous, they're sensational.

"The midfield three are all incredibly talented, the full-backs give them width and dynamic play from wide areas.

"It's a machine, Liverpool is a machine, they're incredibly well coached.

"Jurgen has done an incredible job there, they've got a really good team spirit, they fight for each other, they're the champions and not so long back they were the champions of Europe.

"They're one of the teams of modern times. It's a fantastic test for us."

Joel Veltman and Alexis Mac Allister will have muscle problems assessed ahead of the game, while Tariq Lamptey, Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Danny Welbeck remain sidelined.

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Friday's key events


ATHLETICS
· The athletics schedule begins, with 100m sprinter Dina Asher-Smith among the names in action on the opening day. The men's 10,000m final concludes the action, with Team GB's Sam Atkin and Marc Scott taking part in the absence of 2012 and 2016 champion Sir Mo Farah (1am-2.30pm)

ROWING
· Victoria Thornley is Team GB's representative in the women's single sculls final (1.33am)
· Great Britain will be going for gold in the men's eight final (2.25am)

SWIMMING
· Team GB duo Molly Renshaw and Abbie Wood take part in the women's 200m breaststroke final, but new Olympic record-holder Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa is the hot favourite (2.41am)
· Luke Greenbank has very realistic ambitions of picking up a medal in the men's 200m backstroke final (2.50am)
· There is also British representation in the women's 100m freestyle final, although any medal for Anna Hopkin would be a surprise (2.59am)
· With one gold and one silver already under his belt at these Games, Duncan Scott goes again in the men's 200m individual medley final (3.16am)

TRAMPOLINE
· Bryony Page will be looking to repeat her 2016 heroics in the women's event (5am-7.30pm)

CANOE SLALOM
· Bradley Forbes-Cryans will be looking to emulate Rio gold medallist Joe Clarke in the men's kayak event (6am-9am)

FOOTBALL
· The women's tournament enters the quarter-finals, with Great Britain facing Australia at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium (10am)

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