Brighton & Hove Albion defender Gaetan Bong says the side are calm and focused as they head into tonight’s game with Manchester United at the Amex Stadium.
The Seagulls have three matches left to play, including tonight’s contest against Jose Mourinho’s men, and the full-back discussed the feeling inside the home changing room ahead of the game this evening.
He said, “The mood amongst the side is good and calm – we’re still focused because we have three games left, but we understand the league more now than at the beginning of the season.
“We just try to do our best every week and then after the final three games we will see where we are.
“We didn’t know where we’d be at this stage in August but we knew we had quality in the side and a good squad and everyone works together so we were sure we could achieve something.
“After a first season in the Premier League – for both the team and myself, we have done some good things and it isn’t finished yet – but we’ve done well on the whole.”
Chris Hughton’s men sit five points ahead of the bottom three ahead of the final eight days of the season, but Bong was keen to emphasise that until the team were certain of Premier League survival there would be no let-up in their performances.
“Until it’s mathematically certain we will not feel like we are safe from relegation – that’s the only way to be.
“I think the goal we must always have is to keep focused and we must have some respect for the other sides at the bottom – the gap is five points but we still need to keep going until the end.
“The gap [to the relegation zone] isn’t spoken about in the squad – if we watch another game it’s because we all love watching the sport, but we don’t talk too much about the points because we’re focused on ourselves.”
Having overseen the club’s rise to the country’s top division, Chris Hughton has earned plenty of plaudits during the current campaign, and Bong highlighted t the boss’s approach hasn’t changed since gaining promotion to the Premier League.
“He hasn’t altered anything and his sole focus is still the team as a whole and even sometimes when we have a tough period he is still focused on what he believes in.
“His behaviour is always the same and we know what he wants us to do – we need to keep working hard because he likes those sort of players.
“He likes the team to be organised and it was like that even in the Championship – we’re all very confident in what we do and our ability as a group.”