De Zerbi says Potter’s foundations make his job easy at Brighton

De Zerbi says Potter’s foundations make his job easy at Brighton

De Zerbi’s style has been compared to that of Pep Guardiola. — Reuters pic

Wednesday, 21 Sep 2022 6:04 AM MYT

LONDON, Sept 21 — New Brighton & Hove Albion boss Roberto De Zerbi said he hoped to hit the ground running at the Premier League club thanks in part to the good work done by his predecessor Graham Potter who before his departure to Chelsea.

Potter earned a glowing reputation as a visionary coach at Brighton due to his flexible style, innovative coaching methods and attention to detail and De Zerbi said he was ready to help the fourth-placed club improve further.

“For me it’s very easy to start work at Brighton because I know the work done by Potter before me,” Italian De Zerbi told reporters at his official presentation on Tuesday.

“The players have the right skills and the characteristics, especially mentally, to play my style of football and to play brave, as I want.

“It’s clear that now I take a team that is fourth in the table and that has given me more motivation.”

Former Napoli midfielder De Zerbi, 43, began his managerial career in Italy’s lower leagues and joined Serie A side Sassuolo in 2018, guiding them to successive eighth-placed finishes before departing for Shakhtar Donetsk in May 2021.

He led Shakhtar to the Ukrainian Super Cup last year before his spell was cut short following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

De Zerbi’s style has been compared to that of Pep Guardiola but the Italian said the Manchester City boss was “unreachable” having proven himself in England, Germany and Spain.

“He’s very happy that I’m on board here,” De Zerbi said. “He told me good things about the club. He told me that if I needed it, he would be very happy to help me. Of course, not when we play City.”

De Zerbi, whose first test will be at Liverpool on Oct. 1, said his goal was to help Brighton finish in the top 10.

“We have a lot of strong players. I have seen their previous games. I have studied all of them. The team knows what to do on the pitch and have a clear style,” he added.

“I believe perfection doesn’t exist and there’s always room for improvement. It’s one thing to watch the team and another to train them.

“I have something in my mind that I have to bring here without making big changes.” — Reuters