English Premiership

Potter: Mental health is a priority

Brighton players celebrates Glenn Murray's match winner (Twitter)
Brighton players celebrates Glenn Murray's match winner (Twitter)

Brighton boss Graham Potter believes dealing with the mental strain of living in isolation is one of the biggest challenges facing his players during the postponement of the Premier League.

Albion's squad, one of whom has tested positive for coronavirus, have all remained in the UK and are following government advice by socially distancing because of the global crisis.

Players have been taking part in online training sessions in order to remain in contact and maintain physical fitness, while head coach Potter is regularly checking on their psychological wellbeing during one-to-one conversations.

The 44-year-old feels issues such as boredom and missing family could have a significant detrimental effect on society as a whole and has praised the collective response of his squad to coping with testing circumstances.

"We know that people are struggling on the front line and the NHS are having massive challenges and us at home we need to make sure that we're keeping ourselves right on a psychological level because isolation is not something that as human beings is so easy for us to do," Potter said during a video link press conference.

"If anything, it (mental health) is a priority at the moment because it's a global crisis, the economy of this country is in lockdown, which I'm pretty sure has an effect on people.

"When I've spoken to the players, they've impressed me, to be fair - how they've taken the opportunity to see it as a time to reflect, to appreciate, to be worried about the outside world, if you like.

"It's a unique situation in terms of isolation, so you've got things like boredom, missing friends and missing the activities you'd normally do.

"But they're all intelligent enough and socially aware enough to understand the bigger picture as well, that we're in this horrendous situation and they want to try and stay positive and support each other through it.

"Some of the players are missing their families, and that's something we can sympathise with, but we just felt that it was right for us to limit international travel, to stay at home, to be safe here."

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