Scott McCarthy, We Are Brighton, external
Covid-19 postponements have dominated the newsreels recently. From the north London derby postponement to the mystery surrounding the League Cup semi-final at Liverpool, there seems to be some cloak and dagger business around.
Criticism has flowed, at times making English football look a little farcical. And yet through it all, Brighton have continued to fulfil their fixtures.
Both Graham Potter and his assistant Billy Reid tested positive for Covid-19 in the 48 hours leading up to the Leicester game. Captain Lewis Dunk and vice-captain Adam Lallana were ruled out injured. How many other clubs would have played a tough away fixture without their management or senior on-pitch leadership team?
Brighton, meanwhile, just got on with it. Bjorn Hamberg – a man who looks like a Swedish rockstar rather than a football coach – took charge. The Albion did not appear to miss Potter or Reid, scoring yet another late equaliser to take an impressive draw – and they have still only lost four games this season.
The fact Brighton could go to Leicester without their manager or assistant – and missing Dunk, Lallana, Yves Bissouma, Shane Duffy and Enock Mwepu – and be one outrageous Kasper Schmeichel save away from winning the game is testament to the structure in place.
Whenever somebody is absent, be it management team or key player, there is somebody ready and waiting to step in. It is succession-planning of the highest order, giving Brighton a set-up that can ensure 2021-22’s impressive campaign is not a one-off - even in the event that big-name players or Potter himself moves on.
Another reminder of how bright the future looks at the Amex right now.