Were Albion really seen as a soft touch before their draw at Sheffield United?

Chris Wilder brought it up in his post-match press conference.

The Blades boss didn’t say it himself. He said other people said it.

If there was such an accusation, it was surely answered on a day when Graham Potter came up with a different plan.

It did not bring the ultimate reward of a win so cannot be considered an unqualified success.

But Albion’s head coach could go home feeling his strategy for a unique Premier League test paid off to a large extent.

We all love playing team manager. It’s a bit of fun and there were certainly some talking points when the Albion team selection was revealed at 2pm on Saturday.

But there is also a pleasure, admiration and education in seeing the experts do something we would not have thought of – and be proved correct.

If you are willing to view a draw at Bramall Lane as a positive, which it surely was, then a break from what is widely seen as the Potter norm was proved to be the right move.

The Albion boss said: “I have had a decent career so far and you don’t get that by just doing one thing.

“If we had come here with ten more points, then maybe the approach is different.

“The reality of it is that is not where we are at today.

“Then you have to say ‘What’s the best way for us with the moment we are in?’.

“I work with the guys every day and you sense where they are at.

“Of course, it will be a different game with Crystal Palace at home.

“It was a different game with Watford at home.

“We had 67% possession, so you have got a different problem there.

“You have got to break them down, you have got to have players on the pitch who can score a goal.

“That is the beauty of the Premier League.

“Every test is different and we have to be ready for that.”

Apart from switching off at a short corner, Albion got the basics right.

But they could still have played a bit more football.

Potter said: “There are lots of thoughts when you play a game but you have to respect the opposition, respect the environment, respect how they play and then work out the best way to give yourself a chance.

“We still played with Yves Bissouma, Aaron Mooy, Davy Propper, Neal Maupay in terms of trying to play.

“We didn’t do it so well. We probably played better from a purist perspective at home against Sheffield United but we lost 1-0.”

One of the bigger calls might have backfired early as Bissouma quickly found himself on a yellow card.

But the former Lille man settled and showed impressive maturity.

He was the first to offer some purpose on the ball.

There was one of those driving runs at the heart of defence to force a free-kick, then fired a shot which Dean Henderson made a bit of a meal of.

His return, just like the five giants at the back, was a case of horses for courses.

Potter said: “That’s Yves. He is a bit erratic but his best actions are of a really high level.

“I just thought with the game, it wasn’t going to be such a positional, tactical game.

“It was going to be a bit more of a blood and thunder, fighting game and that his physicality and quality could help us.”

Potter called Bissouma over for a word as Albion players celebrated Maupay’s goal.

He revealed: “It was just to reorganise midfield. We had to get on the ball.

“We didn’t pass the ball at all and we needed to try and get an extra player to help us do that.”

Potter pointed out he took his Swansea side to Bramall Lane on the opening day of last season and played a different way as they won 2-1.

His opposite number Wilder spoke about “a change of approach from Brighton”.

He added: “Even though some people have an opinion on other people’s teams, a negative one, I will never do.

“There is always different ways to win a game.

“We found a way two weeks ago against Bournemouth.

“Unfortunately, we just could not do that today.

“It was a bit of a change-up from Brighton.

The Argus: Neal Maupay celebrates his levellerNeal Maupay celebrates his leveller

“(They are) possession-based but they didn’t really play out from the back first half.

“They went a little bit longer and bigger, two at the top.

“Quite a big side we played against.

“You don’t give cheap fouls away and you don’t give them the second ball or you leave yourself open.

“I thought we moved it around a big side very well knowing as well that they have got some really talented players.

“I really enjoyed the game. I enjoyed watching my team play.

“Credit to the Brighton boys as well.

“People think they are soft but I didn’t see any soft performances from their point of view. Blocks, tackles, a full-blooded encounter.

“And always dangerous on the counter attack.”

He added: “I have a huge amount of respect for Graham.

“I know him quite a bit now and his team and the way he plays and how tactically astute he is.

“Credit to him for changing his side around to get a result.

“I think he will be delighted with that result at the end, which we were at their place.

“They had the majority of the game at the Amex and we managed to get a result.

“Roles were reversed a little bit today.”