Brighton & Hove Albion forward Sam Baldock believes the FA Cup showdown with Arsenal was a taste of the club’s long-term ambition of Premier League football.
The Seagulls were defeated 3-2 in front of a record crowd at the Amex and Baldock believes Albion learnt a lot from their Premier League opponents.
He said, “It was an eye-opener as to how we need to be playing if we want to progress.
“Everyone knows what it takes to get to the next level and now we’ve seen it up close and personal.
“We’ve learnt just how sharp you need to be, the confidence you need on the ball and the movement off the ball.
“They were constantly moving and creating spaces for their team-mates. They didn’t seem to have a position, I kept seeing different faces and it was tough to defend against their movement.”
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The striker made it two goals in his last two games at the Amex - thanks to a clever finish after the interval - and says the Seagulls have got a lot to be proud of after their second-half showing.
“We gave a good account of ourselves and we can take a lot of confidence from our second-half performance.
“The early goal upset our rhythm and if we played like that in the first half, who knows what could have happened.
“We came out and gave them too much respect, which wasn’t our intention and they took the sting out of the game and made the underdog factor die down.
“We can take certain positives, but we’re still hurting deep down.”