Graham Potter has not been drawn on his thoughts regarding the tough tests looming for Albion.

Defeat at Manchester United kicked off a hugely challenging phase for the Seagulls with the visit of Leicester and then trips to Liverpool and Arsenal on the way.

The contests against the Foxes and the leaders speak for themselves.

But no Albion fan who went to Manchester United last Sunday with high hopes of a win, which were quickly and rudely interrupted, will be taking a trip to Emirates lightly either, despite Arsenal’s wobbles.

The same goes for any who travelled to Stamford Bridge full of hope in September, when Chelsea could not win at home, and realised a ‘crisis’ at one of the Prem giants isn’t really a crisis.

But there is another challenge facing Albion.

And it is one which caught them out in their debut Premier League season.

Back in 2017-18, Chris Hughton’s side reached the November international break in eighth place with 15 points from 11 matches (having taken one from their first three).

In the period between the resumption of fixtures and FA Cup third round weekend they won just one out of 11 and had a goal difference of 6-16.

That dismal record was still better than four other teams in that period, which perhaps shows they were not the only ones feeling the increase in pace.

And there WAS an increase. That’s the challenge. Albion had played 11 games in 88 days as they headed home from a 1-0 win at Swansea and into a two-week break from fixtures.

So that was 11 games in 101 days by the time that break was over.

When they returned, they played the next 11 matches in just 44 days.

The tempo was similar last season with 12 games in 92 days to start the season.

By the end of the subsequent break, it was 12 in 105 days. The next nine matches came in 40 days.

By then Albion, with a season of top-tier experience under their belts, coped better.

They were 12th at the November international break with 14 points from 12 games.

In that period between late November and FA Cup third round day, they took 12 points from a possible 27, the 11th best record in the Prem.

Hughton rested players in November and December two years ago and gave three – Ezequiel Schelotto, Beram Kayal and Connor Goldson - their first league minutes of the campaign.

Up until the November break, he had only used 16 starters.

This time last year, he had used 18 starters by this time.

So far this term, Potter has given starts to 20 players in the league although two – Florin Andone and Jurgen Locadia – have since gone out on loan after one start apiece.

That list of starters does NOT include Gaetan Bong, Leon Balogun, Alireza Jahanbakhsh or Schelotto.

It looks like one of those will be added, though, when Lewis Dunk serves his one-match suspension against Leicester.

Albion’s improvement after the November break as a second-year Prem team, compared to their debut season, was noticeable.

They are now in their third year as a club at this level.

But, in some ways, they are the fourth newly-promoted team (rather than club) in the division.

Much of their management and coaching team is newly-promoted from the Championship.

They have often been using six players new to the level.

That includes players fresh from the Championship, Belgian League, under-23s and even, in the case of Steven Alzate, from League Two.

It is understood Albion’s training methods under Potter have been designed to keep them fresh for the hectic part of the campaign.

Not that that it hindered them at the kick-off, of course, looking back to the 3-0 win at Watfdord.

But Potter, while saying he just looks at the next match, will have been looking for some time now to the period which looms large. He will have plans in place – and indeed in action.

The ask is to play nine games in 40 days, starting a week on Saturday, compared to 12 in 93 by the time they came home from Old Trafford.

That is one every four-and-a-half days compared to an average of more than eight days per match up to now.

It is the same for all teams – apart from not all teams have the same travel, exactly the same schedule, the same resources and same personnel issues.

What we learnt in the autumn of 2017 and remains very true is that Albion have to treat every match as a major event if they are to prosper.

Premier League fixtures cannot become routine for players or fans.

The Seagulls are not good enough to cruise through games.

It all caught up with Albion two years ago but that need not happen this time.