Albion's season does not start at Watford on August 10.

It begins at the Lancing training complex on June 27, when the players report back to a new regime.

The slate is wiped clean for every member of the squad once head coach Graham Potter gets down to work with the players following his switch from Swansea to replace the sacked Chris Hughton.

That is the message from ex-Albion and Swansea defender Gary Chivers as Potter and his staff digest the way the fixtures have panned out for his first season at the Amex.

Chivers (below centre) said: "From a player's perspective, when the manager changes you want to impress.

The Argus: "You come back pre-season firing on all cylinders.

"You want to show that manager because the first thing he will say in that dressing room is every position is up for grabs, so it's up to you to go and grab it.

"It's how you do in that pre-season and you want to impress him, show you want to be playing."

Albion have not just changed the man at the top, the philosophy has changed too, from the more experienced and traditional Hughton to an innovative young coach in Potter.

Chivers said: "All players need to be adaptable, especially in today's game.

"I remember being at Queens Park Rangers when Terry Venables was there and we would change our formation every game, depending on who we were playing against.

"Under Chris we were very defensive minded but he was trying to nick points at the end of the season. You have to play a certain style to do that.

"Now we are coming into our second phase in the Premier League it will be really interesting to see if he (Potter) changes straight away.

"He has got to get his policies over and try to win the players over."

That starts with points at stake at Vicarage Road again, another of Chivers' former clubs.

Deja vu as he analysed the fixtures for supporters with fellow ex-Albion defender Andy Rollings over breakfast as they were announced at the Amex yesterday morning.

Chivers, part of the team of former players who are matchday hosts in the hospitality lounges for home games, hopes to see a few new faces before Potter's Premier League baptism in Hertfordshire, where Albion began with a 2-0 defeat under Hughton last season.

"Obviously it's a difficult game," Chivers said. "I think there will be three or four changes in this Albion side.

"Hopefully he will go out, spend a bit of money and bring in four, we need four decent players I think to bolster the side. The squad needs freshening up a little bit.

"It's not an easy start but a nice start."

The aim for Albion is to improve under Potter from the narrow escape from relegation under Hughton and 17th placed finish, following a solid season and 15th on the club's return to the top flight.

Any extra points gained against the top six will assist the cause. Hughton's Albion beat Manchester United at the Amex in both seasons.

They also defeated Arsenal at home, as well as drawing with the Gunners and Spurs.

They gained their first away point in 12 attempts against the big guns at The Emirates at the end of last season.

Chivers said: "They are always bonus points. That top six are far better than the rest of the teams for me and, no matter what you pick up, whether it be a point or three points, that is a bonus.

"We are in the bracket of below the top six to 18th position and we can beat anyone in those positions. We can go out there, play and express ourselves."

The Argus: Albion have suffered most against Chelsea and in particular Eden Hazard (above). At least Potter will not have to try to devise a way of thwarting the mercurial Belgian after his move to Real Madrid when another of the clubs Chivers played for entertain the Seagulls at the end of September before arriving at the Amex on New Year's Day.

Chivers, who alternates his duties with Albion as a matchday host also at Stamford Bridge, said: "A lot of teams will be thankful he has gone, because he does set the place alight.

"He is electric on the ball. Whether you play him out wide left, wide right, the players at Chelsea know how good he was because they kept on giving him the ball, he would always do something.

"He wouldn't just beat one, he'd beat half-a-dozen. It's a big miss."