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RUSK RELISHING CHECKATRADE TROPHY CLASH

30 August 2016

Albion's under-23 coach looks ahead to tonight's game.


Simon Rusk is encouraging his players to rise to the occasion when Brighton & Hove Albion's under-23s face Southend United in a Checkatrade Trophy clash at Roots Hall tonight, kick-off 7.45pm.
 
The Albion under-23s' coach boss is excited by the prospect of facing the League One side in their first game of the re-structured competition, which includes 16 Category One teams and 48 clubs from League One and League Two.

He said, “I think it’s a brilliant opportunity. There’s not much pressure on us, but we put pressure on ourselves.

“It’s a fantastic situation for us, a great idea and hopefully everyone will embrace it, as it proves productive for development football as a whole.

“It’s going to be very difficult [playing Southend], but we want to test ourselves against their first team. It’s a game we’re very much looking forward to.

“We go into it with three unbeaten games at the start of the season, on top of pre-season wins against Nuremberg and Reading, so the players deserve great credit.

“We’re five unbeaten against tough opposition and have had a very good start to the season, so we go into the game feeling confident and are looking forward to it.”

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Albion secured their first win of the season on Friday after a 1-0 victory over Fulham at the Amex, despite being down to ten men for most of the game, and Rusk praised the character shown by his players.

“I think it was a magnificent effort from the ten men. I was really happy with how we started the game, we looked good in possession, moved the ball well and thought we were a threat.

“Fulham are a good team and I knew they would cause us some problems. But, considering the desire, concentration levels and will to defend, I think the boys deserved the win.

"It was a super effort from the lads and I’m very, very pleased with the win and what they achieved.”

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