Graham Potter has stood by his decision to take off Aaron Connolly – and backed him to be a Premier League threat.

The Albion boss said he “erred on the side of caution” by removing his young Irish striker from the action against Liverpool after 63 minutes.

But he has highlighted the qualities which can earn him more time in a busy December, especially if Neal Maupay (hamstring) is ruled out.

Connolly caused the Reds’ backline problems by looking to get in behind them during Saturday’s 1-1 draw.

But he missed a golden chance to open the scoring and was clearly disappointed to be taken off.

Head coach Potter was impressed by his efforts – and not too worried about his angry reaction when his number went up.

Potter told The Argus: “That’s Aaron. I think he was a little frustrated he missed his chance in the first half and he wanted to stay on.

“In the last three or four weeks he has had a bit of up and down stuff with his injury, with his hamstring. He missed some international games. He was running around such a lot.

“I thought he had a really impactful hour and it’s a decision to maybe err on the side of caution with him.

“We pushed Danny (Welbeck) a little bit higher up because Danny had gone a little bit deeper at that point.

“I thought Aaron was great. He did exactly what we wanted him to do.

“We wanted him to run in behind, test their back line and their defence and I thought he helped us do that, with him and Danny.”

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Potter added: “It’s my responsibility to look after their welfare and try to make the right decision for the individual for the team.

“I don’t make any apology about that.”

Connolly admitted via social media that he “should be putting them ones away” as he acknowledged “a great point against a top side”.

He also forced a penalty, which was missed, and has stated a case for the busy six-game December which starts when Southampton visit the Amex on Monday.

Potter said: “He threatens the back line and he has got real pace.

“It means you are either opening up some space in the midfield or you are threatening the goal if you can get the delivery right.

“I thought we did that quite well.

“His chance early in the game probably changed the dynamic of the game.

“They had started quite well and got behind us a couple of times and we had to survive those moments.

“Then I thought we grew into it from the chance and were probably the better team over the first half.”