Alexis Mac Allister has revealed the honest discussions which kept his head up as he struggled for playing time.

The Argentinian midfielder has been in impressive form of late since regaining his place in the side.

He hopes to add to his four goals so far this term when Crystal Palace visit the Amex tonight.

Mac Allister was frustrated not to be playing but kept channels of communication with head coach Graham Potter open.

He said: “We always try to speak because I think it is important to know what is going on. We spoke a few times.

“He explained to me I was training really well but it is just a decision he has to take.

“I accepted it, I trained hard and I got my possibilities to play. That was good.

“It was really difficult to be honest.

“It is not easy to be on the bench and not play but we have to keep going, to keep working hard.

“That is what I did.

“I am happy because now I played three or four games in a row.

“It is good for me and for my career.

“I know I need to play so I need to get some minutes.”

It is almost two years now since Mac Allister teamed up with Albion.

Which itself was a year after he first signed for the club before then returning home on loan to Argentinos Juniors.

His debut for the Seagulls came in the last game before lockdown as a sub in a draw at Wolves.

He played a large part in the late winner against Arsenal when action returned behind closed doors.

But his first season-and-a-quarter in England were spent playing to no one, barring some very limited attendances when restrictions were eased.

It would have felt a long way from La Bombonera, where he played on loan for Boca in his final months back home.

He said: “Yes, I think it was tough for everyone.

“Every team said they missed them.

“We know that football is nothing without the fans so it’s important for us and for them to go back to the grounds and enjoy football.

“So it’s important for us and for football too for them to be there.”

Given the matches in which he has featured, a fixture against Crystal Palace, whether you call it a derby or a clasico or just another game, should not overwhelm him.

At Boca, he played in front of one of the most famously intense home crowds in world football.

He said: “It is different but it’s fantastic in both places, Argentina and here.

“In Argentina we’re used to singing the whole match and here it’s a little bit different but I enjoyed it when I was in Boca.

“I think they have some of the best fans in the world and I enjoy it here because I think that when we play at home they always support us and that’s important.”

Mac Allister has worn the coveted No.10 for Argentina in the Olympics and took that shirt at Albion when Florin Andone first went out on loan.

He said: “It’s important in football and in Argentina the No.10 is something big for us so it’s nice to wear it.

“We know that it’s an important number but when I play I don’t see my number so it’s not something that bothers me.”

Mac Allister was watched by family back at home as he scored a late equaliser at Selhurst Park last season.


His dad Carlos played for Argentina and remains prominent in the football media.

Mac Allister said: “My father never put pressure on us to play football - and that is good.

“We chose to play football, me and my brothers.

“So that is something that is important for us as we don’t have any pressure and we don’t feel the pressure when someone talks about my father.

“We know that he was a really good player and he played almost 400 games in Argentina and so it is something that we are used to when they speak about that.

“We try to enjoy it and make our career.

“I think it is good to have a family from football.”