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Graham Potter talks up Percy Tau ahead of Man City clash

Graham Potter talks up Percy Tau ahead of Man City clash
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The South Africa forward only recently secured a work permit to play in the UK.

Percy Tau may get another chance to show Brighton what they have been missing in Wednesday’s Premier League game at Manchester City.

The South Africa forward made his belated Brighton debut off the bench in Sunday’s FA Cup penalty shoot-out win at Newport.

The 26-year-old has had three separate loan spells in Belgium since being signed in 2018 and only recently secured a work permit to play in the UK after being recalled to ease the Seagulls’ injury crisis.

“We’re excited of course, he’s only been with us a few days, but I think you can see his quality,” said boss Graham Potter.

“It’s a difficult environment for him to make his debut in, away at Rodney Parade, it’s a unique football environment there, but he just got on with it.

“You can see his ability and what he brings. We’re looking forward to getting to know him better and him getting to know us better.”

Tau, whose latest loan spell was at Anderlecht, was a second-half replacement against Newport for Iran forward Alireza Jahanbakhsh, who is nursing a minor injury.

Jahanbakhsh is a fresh concern for Potter, who will still be without Adam Lallana through illness, striker Danny Welbeck (knee), forward Aaron Connolly and full-back Tariq Lamptey (both hamstring).

Fellow forwards Jose Izquierdo and Florin Andone are both working their way back from long-term injuries.

Potter, who will also be without suspended midfielder Yves Bissouma at the Etihad, refused to comment on reports Brighton are poised to sign Ecuador’s teenage midfielder Moises Caicedo from Independiente del Valle.

“It’s just speculation,” Potter said. “It is what it is at this time of the year. I wouldn’t want to comment, I wouldn’t want to speak about players that aren’t with us.”

The Seagulls needed penalties after 120 minutes of FA Cup action to squeeze past Sky Bet League Two Newport on Sunday night and face a quick turnaround.

They sit one place and three points above the relegation zone and are bidding for their first league win in nine matches.

QPR boss Mark Warburton has joined Sam Allardyce and Steve Bruce in questioning whether elite-level football should continue during the rising number of coronavirus cases.

But Potter added: “I can’t say that I’m in that group. I know it’s a tough period and of course we’re all concerned.

“But our challenge, and what we have to focus on, is to try to be as safe as we can, stick within the protocols and rules to make our environment as safe as we can and try to play football because there are probably some benefits to that.”

Brighton later confirmed goalkeeper Jason Steele has agreed a new contract with the club until June 2023.

Steele, 30, has been understudy to Mathew Ryan and Robert Sanchez this season, but proved his worth with four penalty saves in Sunday’s shoot-out win at Newport.

Potter said: “He is fantastic within the group, he has supported the players even when he’s not been in the team and that is a credit to his character.”


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