Graham Potter relishes chance to face 'world class' Cristiano Ronaldo as Brighton prepare for Manchester United
BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 18: Head Coach Graham Potter of Brighton & Hove Albion after his sides 1-1 draw during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Chelsea at American Express Community Stadium on January 18, 2022 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images)

Graham Potter remains convinced of five-time Balon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo's devastating ability, despite the forwards recent struggles as Manchester United's talisman. 

Speaking before Brighton & Hove Albion's imminent Premier League fixture away to Manchester United,, Potter expressed his eagerness to face the legendary forward, and played down talks of a European finish.

Brighton have been in fine form this season, and currently reside in ninth place with 23 matches played.

The South Coast sides away form has been particularly impressive, and has seen only one defeat as a result - a record that will give optimism as the side look to earn their first ever victory at Old Trafford. 

On Ronaldo

Manchester United have struggled for goals at times under head coach Ralf Rangnick, despite only suffering one defeat in their past 12 league outings.

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Despite this, Potter lauded Ronaldo's influence and ability on the pitch, despite the forward still searching for his first goal of 2022.

“You run out of superlatives in terms of what he’s achieved in his career and the player that he is.

“He’s had an absolutely amazing career, world-class, it’s out-of-this-world class. There’s nothing else to say with that.

“Too often we zoom into individuals and forget it’s a team game. Sometimes when the team isn’t scoring, the person at the front of the pitch gets the zooming in, we’ve had it ourselves with Neal (Maupay), for example.

“From what I’ve seen, you still see the quality he has and the quality he brings to the group and the team.

“I’ve never played against him, we’re looking forward to going there and pitting our wits against one of the best players of all time.”

On European prospects

Brighton's season has been exemplary, and is down to Potters's management and the players ability to match the tactical approach emphatically. 

Victory at Old Trafford on Tuesday would narrow the deficit between the two teams - in fifth and ninth place respectively - with Brighton to remain with a game in hand on their opponents. 

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Potter was quick to downplay comments about a finish in a European spot, with plenty of football still to be played.

He said, "The target in terms of where are at the end of the season is not something we think about.

"It's nice not to be in the shake up at the bottom of the table at the moment - it gives a nice feeling and we should enjoy that.

"But if you start to worry about what might happen in May you're mistaken. We've got a lot of points to play for, a tough game on Tuesday night and we need to do our best to go there and perform well."