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STEPHENS WARY OF BLACKBURN REACTION

13 December 2016

Albion's midfielder looks ahead to tonight's game.


Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Dale Stephens is wary of a potential reaction from Blackburn Rovers after their defeat at the weekend, as the Seagulls travel to Ewood Park tonight.

Rovers were beaten 3-2 by local rivals Preston North End on Saturday, and although Stephens expects a stern test from Owen Coyle’s side, he urged his team-mates to remain focused and maintain their fine form.

He said, “They’ll want a reaction from the disappointing result they had. They’ll probably start the game quickly and come out of the blocks fast, so we’ll have to ride that.

“But it’s down to us, we’re up near the top of the league for a reason, and we need to keep producing good performances and carry on the good run of results.

“We play the same system with the same players, it’s still a grass pitch and not a lot changes from our point of view.

“We’ve got two hard away games coming up, so we’ll need to be at it, because every game in this league is tough.”

The 27-year-old highlighted Albion’s results as being more important than their performances, and expressed his desire to continue the club’s unbeaten run over the festive period.

“It’s difficult but it’s a good opportunity for us. There’s a lot of games coming over December and it’s an opportunity for us to get a lot of points on the board.

“It’s important that we hang in there, stay with the pack and hopefully we can prolong the results that we’ve been getting.

“We had a decent result at the weekend [v Leeds], but I don’t think the performances have been as good as the results, although the results are more important.

“We need to improve the performances and keep it at that level throughout the season. There’s more to come from the team and we need to push through this busy Christmas period now.”

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The central midfielder has partnered both Steve Sidwell and Oliver Norwood since scoring the winning goal against Wigan Athletic in October, and admitted he’d like to find his name on the scoresheet more often.

“My role doesn’t really change, we play the same system and it doesn’t matter who I play alongside. As long as we get the job done, I’m not too fussed who I play with.

“I’ve previously said that I need to add more goals to my game and it’s something I’ll be looking to do from now until the end of the season.

“We have sessions all the time on finishing; it’s usually just for the strikers, but I like to join in. I’ve just got to keep practising and working hard, and hopefully the goals will come.”

UPCOMING HOME FIXTURES

ALBION V QUEENS PARK RANGERS

TUESDAY 27TH DECEMBER, KICK-OFF 12.30PM


ALBION V CARDIFF CITY

FRIDAY 30TH DECEMBER, KICK-OFF 7.45PM



ALBION V SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY

FRIDAY 20TH JANUARY, KICK-OFF 7.45PM


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