Matches with Leeds are special occasions for the Albion goalkeeper.
Brighton & Hove Albion goalkeeper David Stockdale cannot wait to face Leeds United on Friday night, and is pleased to see his boyhood club challenging at the top end of the Sky Bet Championship.
The West Yorkshire side currently sit fourth in the table and Stockdale admits he is always involved in some friendly banter when the two clubs face each other.
He said, “Every time we play against them, I’ve usually got more than a hundred messages on my phone wishing me bad luck, but good luck for the rest of the season!
“It's always harmless, good natured, but there’s usually one person who won’t talk to me if we win and that’s my father-in-law. We are used to it now and it’s become a family tradition!
“Leeds are a massive club and Garry Monk is doing a great job there as everyone knows. We know they are always hard games - even when we played Leeds last season and they weren’t doing as well, it was hard. Every team in this division is hard to play against; we’ll keep on taking it one game at a time and hopefully get the three points.”
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Albion took a dip in form during the festive period last season, but the Seagulls shot-stopper is determined to maintain the side's unbeaten momentum throughout December and into the New Year.
“December last year was a disaster for us, compared with our form across the rest of the season, but it is not something which is in our minds.
“We had a lot of injuries, and they took their toll, and everybody in football knows that any club will go through a period like that.
“Hopefully we can make up for it this Christmas and right the wrongs from last year. It’s up to us for us to do the right things, just as we did across last season.
“We only fell short by a couple of goals, but when you reflect, that was down to the festive period. We want to put as many points on the table between now and the end of the season.”
Stockdale was speaking at the club’s annual trip to Worthing Hospital and highlighted the importance of visiting the club’s younger supporters.
“It’s very important because those in the children’s ward may not go home for Christmas, so for us to make a visit and give them presents is a massive thing for the kids and parents.
“It just shows the support we’ve got in the community and it’s good to give something back. It’s nice to put smiles on their faces.”
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