Graham Potter is a lucky man - and he knows it.

Or, to be more precise, a lucky head coach.

The challenge of dipping his toe into the Premier League waters with Albion is big - but it could have been worse.

More often than not when clubs change manager it is because they have not done very well.

There are invariably hazardous circumstances to cope with off the pitch as well.

As was the case at Swansea for Potter last season. They had just been relegated to the Championship and money was tight.

The Argus: Not at the Amex. Potter has taken over at a well-run club with a wealthy and supportive owner that remains on an upward curve, in spite of their flirtation with relegation towards the end of last season under his otherwise supremely successful predecessor Chris Hughton.

Potter acknowledged his good fortune as he assessed Albion's Premier League journey so far on his first day meeting the players at the Lancing training complex after the summer break.

He said: "I have inherited what seems to be a really good group and a really good football club.

"I think that's testament to Chris and the quality of leadership that he brought.

"I think they've done fantastic if you look at it from the outside, promotion from the Championship and then kept in the Premier League for two years. It's not easy to do.

"As a coach I know how difficult it is and I am full of respect for the job Chris has done. I am just lucky that I've inherited I think a good foundation, a good set of circumstances to work from.

"I'm not coming in trying to be better or worse than anybody else. I've got my own personality, my own way.

The Argus: "I'll try to take on the good things that are here and I think everybody's job in a football club, where ever you are in the world, is to try and improve, regardless of who the coach is. That's the challenge for us."

Potter's brief is to make Albion better, both in terms of finishing position and style of play.

He is not making any rash promises he cannot keep after Albion came 15th, then 17th under Hughton.

He said: "You can talk about all these fancy long-term words like philosophy and identity, all that sort of stuff, but you have to understand you are in the Premier League.

"The most competitive league in the world. The competition is fierce but at the same time we have to work towards improving, build something that is recognisable from the supporters' perspective.

"There are no easy answers. There is no point me sitting here and saying by this time we will be this or that. Take each day as it comes, try to improve every day."

Potter had informal, one-on-one discussions with the players currently available to him in a squad fractured by injuries and international commitments.

Gaetan Bong and Leon Balogun are at the Africa Cup of Nations, along with Percy Tau who will be loaned out again due to work permit issues.

Jose Izquierdo, Yves Bissouma and Ezequiel Schelotto - who did not feature under Hughton last season - are all injured.

Shane Duffy and Davy Propper (seated below) have been given extra time off after their seasons were extended playing for the Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands respectively.

The Argus: "Shane Duffy, Davy Propper will join us in Austria," Potter said.

"Everybody's not here yet but that's part of the challenge. It gives us a chance to look at other guys while they are not here and then we quickly integrate when they are back."

Fitness and medical checks continue today, then pre-season work gets underway properly on Monday.

The balls will be out straight away to give the players as much time as possible to adapt to Potter's possession-based, build-from-the-back ethos.

"Yes, they will be," he said. "The aim is to try to find out as much about the players as possible and develop the playing style as quickly as we can."

Albion fly out to Austria on Sunday week for a training camp, culminating in the opening pre-season friendly against second tier side FC Liefering (1pm UK time).

The match against the feeder club to Red Bull Salzburg, a former employer of Brazilian defender Bernardo, will be staged at the Sportplatz Bischofshofen where they faced Fortuna Dusseldorf two years ago.

Potter said: "Every day is important but the Austria trip is a nice time for us to get away, to see each other pretty much 24 hours a way, get to know each other more.

"You can watch from afar but it's not the same as finding out day to day how people are and who works well with who.

"All that information you need to ultimately make the right decisions when the season starts."