(Reuters) - Brighton and Hove manager Graham Potter believes the absence of home advantage will not be a problem for his side when the Premier League season resumes in empty stadiums on June 17 after a three-month stoppage due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brighton have won just four of their 14 games at the Amex Stadium and have five home games left - including visits from Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal.
“It’s not like the Amex was a massive fortress for us before and now we haven’t got that anymore. So we have to play football and we get on with it,” Potter told Sky Sports.
“I think the hostility of the home crowd in the Premier League is where the advantage is. Certainly, the crowd in the British game get so involved and little moments can change things in the match.
“As an away team it’s difficult when there’s 30, 40, 50, 60,000 people at a game. But it’s not there, we haven’t got the crowd and you just have to play football as well as you can.”
Brighton have allowed season ticket-holders to sign up for cardboard cutouts of themselves to be displayed at Amex Stadium and Potter is glad fans can still make their presence felt.
“It’s hard for a cardboard cutout to generate the same atmosphere that 30,000 in the Amex can, but it’s an opportunity for fans to engage,” the 45-year-old said.
“To have real-life supporters would be far better - unless they’re hurling abuse at me, in which case I’m happy with the cutouts.”
Brighton, 15th in the standings, will resume their Premier League campaign against Arsenal on June 20.
Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman