Brighton & Hove Albion defender Gaetan Bong believes the Seagulls should relish tomorrow night’s game with Manchester United at the Amex Stadium.
The contest with Jose Mourinho’s men signals the start of a run of matches that sees Albion face the Premier League’s top three in eight days, but the defender was adamant that the game under the lights on Friday was one to be looking forward to.
He said, “Whenever you play a club of their size it is always a challenge. Even more so when you have just three games left and safety is still not certain but we’re at home and that’s important for us.
“We have to show character and what we’ve shown all season – we beat Arsenal and drew with Tottenham Hotspur and we need to replicate those performances.
“We are focused on ourselves and we just need to work hard and do our jobs. We want the game to be hard for them.
“You have to be focused because they’re a good side but we certainly don’t fear them – our shape and organisation makes it hard for teams and it isn’t easy to play against.”
As the side’s first Premier League campaign nears it’s end, the Cameroonian full-back believes that a debut season in the division is always the most challenging.
He also pointed to the global interest in the Premier League resulting in a different feel around the club.
“I think it is always the hardest – people say it’s the second that’s the toughest but you look at teams who have been in the league for many years and now they’re in danger of going down.
“Even if people research the league you are never sure how it will go – it’s the hardest because you have to prove yourself, after that you have to stay at your best level.
“It has felt different this season but that is normal, everyone at the club is doing a great job ever since I’ve been here.
“It’s a different atmosphere in this league and everything you do is watched now because it’s such a popular league all over the world.”
Chris Hughton’s side occupy 14th place and sit on 37 points ahead of the game with the Red Devils – Bong has played in 22 of Albion’s matches across all competitions this term, and he reflected on the campaign as a whole.
“We’ve done well and could have taken more points but that’s in the past so our focus must be the final three matches and then we can make a big conclusion at the end of the campaign.
“It was new for many players and I think we can be happy – we’ve learned a lot and we can always many improve and get better as a group.
“The whole group are really upbeat and are happy to work hard all over the pitch. This is the most positive thing because it isn’t about individuals it’s about the group.”