Brighton boss Graham Potter praised the impact made by his substitutes after the Seagulls opened their Premier League campaign with a 2-1 come-from-behind win at Burnley.
The hosts took the lead via a second-minute James Tarkowski header – which stood after a VAR check amid Brighton protests that the defender had fouled Neal Maupay – and Burnley went on to rattle the frame of the goal twice before half-time, Johann Berg Gudmundsson hitting a post and Ben Mee the bar.
Potter subsequently saw changes pay off in the second half as the visitors turned things around, with Jakub Moder, within moments of coming off the bench, teeing up Maupay in the 73rd minute, and Alexis Mac Allister then netting five minutes later, having been introduced following the equaliser.
Potter, who also brought on Adam Lallana at half-time, said after the game: “Adam did (have an impact), Jakub did and Alexis did, and I think that’s the point with the subs, with the squad.
“The pre-season we’ve had has been disrupted, so it hasn’t been easy to get some stability, but you’re just asking players to react well, and everybody did, and they were top.”
Regarding the opening stages, Potter said: “Nightmare start for us in terms of the last thing you want to do as an away team is concede and create an atmosphere that favours the home team.
“I thought Burnley did what they do better than us in the first half, we caused our own problems a little bit.
“But credit to the players, they hung in there. You need a bit of luck I think and we had that, and then I thought second half we grew into the game more and more, attacked better, controlled things better.
“I thought we scored two good goals, and in the end we’re delighted with the three points.”
Burnley boss Sean Dyche expressed his frustration over how things had panned out on the day Turf Moor had its first competitive match with no restriction on attendance since March 2020.
“(It was) a very strong performance overall, particularly the first half,” said Dyche, whose side are now winless in their last 11 home games.
“Getting countered, similar goals… we don’t normally give those situations up easily. The pressing shape we had in the first half was very good, we broke up the play, stopped them from playing and played ourselves. In the second half we just didn’t get our distances right.
“(It was) a strange, frustrating day. I don’t remember Popey (goalkeeper Nick Pope) having too much to do, and yet we come away losing 2-1, so disappointed in that.”
He added: “You do always have that weird thing when you’re 1-0 up and you think, ‘is this going to be one of those odd ones?’. Because we couldn’t quite find that second goal, despite having high-quality chances. The two goals – really, other than that, we did a lot right today.”
When players took a knee just prior to the match starting there were some boos from the crowd, as well as applause.
Asked for his thoughts on that, Dyche said: “All we can do is offer the right things that we think are important, along with many other teams and players across the whole of football.
“But people have lives as well. We can’t control people’s lives, all we can do is offer opinion, the right opinion we feel, the right kind of messages out there.
“It’s very difficult, when we’re in a stadium, they’re all happy to be back, and they have their views on all of these things.
“I think the one thing to focus on is there was a lot of applause at that time as well, which was very obvious I thought at the taking-the-knee moment.”