Brighton & Hove Albion interim manager Nathan Jones says he wants a reaction from everyone connected to the club ahead of Reading’s Boxing Day visit to the Amex.
Jones expressed his sadness at Sami Hyypia’s departure and now wants the players to put previous results behind them and focus on delivering a morale-boosting performance on Friday.
He said, “Sami leaving is a disappointment as he’s become a close friend of mine, having worked alongside him for six months. He was a great man and I learnt a lot from him. It’s just a sad day really and I wish him all the best.
“We need a reaction now and we’re looking for the players to step up. We have fallen down the table lately and we have to address that. We are looking for a positive reaction from everyone, the whole club.
“We need to unite as a club, including all the outstanding fans we have here. This club has been through so much and I know we’ll get through this, but we have to do it together.
“That’s what I’m looking for us to do now, be positive to lift everyone. A good performance on Friday in front of a full Amex will lift the club.”
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Jones went on to explain how the club has proven record of bouncing back after difficult periods and he is confident that the team will be back challenging near the top of the table very soon.
“We have good people at the helm who have brought the club through troubled times and we’ve always had an unbelievable fan base.
“I always remember playing against Brighton at Gillingham and also seeing the people who had made a two-hour journey to go to a home game.
“That’s the kind of spirit which runs through this club. We don’t want to be where we are; we want to be challenging at the other end of the table. We’ve had two fantastic seasons where we’ve been play-off contenders and we need to get back to that.”
The interim manager also said he is fully focused on helping Albion return to winning ways on Friday.
“We can’t affect what Reading do and I’m not really concerned with that. All I’m concerned about is preparing a Brighton team that wears the Brighton shirt and gives a Brighton performance.
“Anyone can beat anyone in this league. If you have a look at who’s struggling at the bottom and who is doing well, you might not be able to predict that on paper, which makes it a fantastic league."