Swansea City are one of those clubs who used to be seen as an example for Albion to follow.

Reading, who look set to be docked nine points in the Championship, were another.

The Seagulls seem to have left the Swans behind in the league for now, although these things can change dramatically when momentum shifts.

These two clubs have met in every division in relatively recent history so they know about the ups and downs.

Graham Potter is confident Russell Martin could be the man to take the Swans back to the elite.

But he will need the right backing and support behind the scenes.

Tonight’s tie will be more of a chance to compare strength in depth and youngsters coming through than first choice XIs.

Potter arrived at Swansea when they had just left the elite and appreciates the challenge they face and the potential they have.

He said: “I left Ostersunds. It was my home and a very stable place for my family.

“I came to a club that had just been relegated from the Premier League.

“Whilst you have these ideas that things might be how you think they’re going to be, until you’re there and you know the full implications of that financially, it’s so challenging.

“You just have to continually adapt.

“It was a fantastic experience for me.

“It was turbulent. We went through two lots of redundancies.

“It was very traumatic to see people lose their jobs.

“There was a change of chairman.

“At no point did anybody lie to me.

“It was just so difficult when you come out of the Premier League with the financial commitments you have.

“You have to try and put a team on the pitch that people recognise whilst trying to recover a black hole financially.

“With all that going on it’s an incredibly challenging time and I learned loads about myself. It was wonderful.”

There is every chance Albion benefited from the experiences Potter picked up at the Liberty Stadium.

The suggestion to him yesterday was it had toughened him up.

He replied: “You use perspective. You zoom out a little bit.

“You can work with young players and build the team around them and that allows the club to grow again.

“Most jobs are challenging. There are no easy jobs at this level.

“I certainly grew as a person and a manager.”

Swansea are currently just above the drop zone and arguably in the sort of place Albion found themselves two years ago in terms of adapting to a new approach.

Martin is looking to install a way of playing and change the philosophy, just as Potter did with the Seagulls.


Potter said: “It’s a period of transition. Russell has done really well and I think it’s a fantastic appointment for Swansea, I really do.

“He provides real clarity, real integrity, an idea that people can get behind “I think it’s the early stages of what they want to do.


“I certainly know for myself that it’s not always perfect at the start in terms of performances and results, but you can clearly see what they’re trying to do and where they want to go and they are very impressive in that.

“With the right support, patience and time, Swansea City will be back in the Premier League with Russell, because I think there’s huge potential there.”

Potter himself believes he must have progressed since his Swansea days.

He said: “I would hope I have improved with time, that’s the general process.

“I haven’t got a bad word to say about Swansea City.

“The fans are amazing, the people behind the scenes – Mike and Sue with the kit, to the medical, the chefs and grounds staff, they’re great people.”