Brighton & Hove Albion under-21 coach Simon Rusk is relishing the prospect of taking on a senior first-team side, when the Seagulls face Three Bridges in the Sussex Senior Cup tonight.
The under-21 coach is expecting the Isthmian League Division One South outfit to pose a difficult test, but one he feels will benefit his squad.
He told seagulls.co.uk, “It’s going to be a tough game and we know that non league football has got a lot of good players that didn’t quite get to a professional level.
“It will be a different type of game to what we normally experience in the under-21 league, but it’s one that we’re certainly looking forward to and we will pay them a lot of respect.
“We’ll aim to bring out our strengths and what we’re good at as a team, because there are always slight tactical tweaks that you might implement on your opponent.
“We’re expecting a good attitude from the lads and it’s a game that we want to win and perform well in.”
LATEST NEWS FROM SEAGULLS.CO.UK
- REPORT: BURNLEY 1 ALBION 1
- GALLERY: BURNLEY
- AITC WIN HAT-TRICK OF AWARDS
- HUGHTON HAILS ZAMORA'S DISPLAY
- HALF-SEASON TICKETS NOW ON GENERAL SALE
Rusk’s side have improved their form in recent weeks, with just one defeat in their last four games, including an impressive 4-1 win over Norwich City at the Amex.
“Obviously we had a great 1-1 draw at West Brom in a game which we should’ve won. I felt that we did enough to get something out of the West Ham game too.
“We backed that up with the victory against Norwich and a 0-0 draw with Wolves, which we could’ve won.
“We could easily be sitting here having been unbeaten in four games on the back of four very tough fixtures. We’re not in a terrible place and we just need to turn those draws into wins.”
The under-21 coach was happy to see Daniel Akindayini involved in the first-team squad, with the striker an unused substitute in Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Burnley. He stressed how much this could lift the players’ confidence within his squad.
“I know the manager has had a few injuries and at under-21 football, you never know when your opportunity might come to be involved with the first team.
“It’s certainly something that we won’t be getting carried away with but it’s a wonderful experience for Daniel and it’s also great for the rest of the group, knowing that if the manager is short then he’ll take one of the under-21 boys.”
ALBION (probable squad): Doherty (GK), Sanchez (GK), Hunt, Deen, Starkey, Dallison, Barclay, Ward, Molumby, Tighe, Harris, Hutchinson, Monakana, Tilley, Harper, Akindayini.
Tweets by @OfficialBHAFC