BOBO SOLLANDER still remembers Graham Potter’s initial reaction to winning at the Emirates.

The current Albion head coach had just seen his Ostersunds FK side beat Arsenal 2-1 in the Europa League in February, 2018.

It was not enough to overturn a 3-0 defeat from the first leg in shivering Sweden, when an OFK side still effectively in pre-season were caught cold.

But it was a night to savour for 5,000 fans who had followed Ostersunds to London and, initially it seems, for Potter himself.

Sollander, a member of the OFK back-up staff, told The Argus: “I remember standing next to Graham in front of our fans as we went to celebrate the fact we won that match.

“He turned to me and said ‘F…ing hell, Bobo! We just beat Arsenal away! F…ing unbelievable!’ “What I took from that was taking the wins when you get them, even though we didn’t go through.”

Potter, who was the last British boss left in European club competition that season, was reminded of his Emirates trip yesterday as he prepares to return in the Premier League.

That tie as a whole brought him to the consciousness of a lot of football followers in England.

He did not recall the throw away comment to Sollander but did not dispute it.

But the sense he had of that occasion was, ultimately, one of disappointment at not qualifying.

He said: “When I went there we were lucky if there were 500 people at our home stadium.

“So to have 5,000 at the Emirates and then they were celebrating the victory, at the time it’s like ‘we’ve just won the game’.

“But when you come away from that, you are still a bit disappointed.

“We wanted to carry on in the competition but when you’re out, you’re out.”

How Potter prepared his side to face Arsenal offers an insight into the way he works.

The Argus: Graham Potter Graham Potter

They were fighting against the odds – but then so are Albion on many occasions in the top flight.

Arsenal fan Tom Pettersson, who played centre-back for Ostersunds, had reason not to recall that first leg too fondly.

His penalty was saved by David Ospina at 3-0, adding to a goalkeeping blunder and an own goal in the first half which gave Arsenal a two-goal head start.

Ostersunds had only played one low key game in the group stages of the Swedish Cup since their lengthy close season while Arsenal were coming off a North London derby. The difference was obvious.

Pettersson said: “At 3-0 down from the first leg, it didn’t look good but Graham told us he believed it was possible for us to win there and even go through.

“That was one of the best things about Graham.

“He always made us believe that anything was possible.

“He came to us in the fourth tier and took us all the way to the Europa League.

“Everything he said we always believed in and he was always right.

“When you see the results he got, then it was easy to believe him.

“He said if we scored the first goal, anything could happen because they already thought it was over.”

Sollander added: “Everyone who went out on to that pitch knew what they were doing.

“Everyone looked forward to the game and the players didn’t feel it would be a heavy defeat.

“The fans were chanting after our first goal that we were going to win it. Self-belief was never a concern in the team, the club or the city.”

Callum Chambers deflected in Hosam Aiesh’s shot and Ken Sema added an angled strike to put OFK 2-0 up in 23 minutes.

At that stage the shock looked well and truly on but Pettersson said hope faded when Sead Kolasinac pulled one back.

By that stage, he was playing with a hefty bandage on his head.

He said: “At 2-0 up they had a corner and my friend Sotiris Papagiannopoulos elbowed me when he headed it away.

“I had to go off for the last five or ten minutes of the first half but I didn’t want to be replaced.

“I was screaming at the doctor, ‘Hurry up, I don’t care what it looks like’.

“When we went to clap our fans you could tell everybody outside the team itself, like the fans, was happy because we had won at Arsenal.

“But, as players, we were so disappointed it was all over.

“The highlight of my career isn’t that night.

“It’s the last qualifying game, when we had to beat PAOK by two goals.

“Every time we played a big team, Graham had a special plan. It always worked for us.

“He knew what to do and, more importantly, how to explain it to us.

“We knew we were three goals behind but he told us they didn’t know who we were.”

There was no celebration or even a consolatory beer in the changing room afterwards.

Pettersson said: “We had a game three or four days later in the cup.

“Graham just said, ‘Well done but it’s over’. Which it was.”

Or maybe not. The spirit of that night and others like it under Potter lives on.

Ostersunds have hit major financial problems and could lose their top-flight status.

Sollander, who is still at the club, said: “I think of that night sometimes now, when you go through rough stretches like this.

“Take the small wins when you get them.

“You might not win the whole way, you don’t win the league, but take the small wins.”

Potter still cherishes the memory but, it was put to him by The Argus, victory at the Emirates would be even bigger.

It would mean something – three points in the table – as well as being their first success away to one of the so-called big six since returning to the elite.

“Absolutely,” Potter said. “It would be (bigger) for me as well because I’m here now and now is the most important.

“Those memories are nice but now is the most important time.

“We have to play well, we have to do things well, we have to learn from what we have done over the past few weeks, we have to demand a bit more from each other.

“Carry on the path we are taking but try to improve, that’s the challenge.”