Beram Kayal is urging Albion to target promotion
Brighton & Hove Albion’s 2015/16 Player of the Season, Beram Kayal, has issued a rallying cry for the club to push all the way for promotion again this season.
Albion’s Israeli midfielder is undeterred by reports of the Championship being stronger than ever after Newcastle United and Aston Villa were relegated from the Premier League.
He said, “From my experience of the last two years, it has looked like a tough league and has always looked harder and tougher than the season before.
“We missed out on promotion last time and nothing hurt us more than missing the chance of going up by two goals.
"We showed good desire, good football and we were together. The team here is unbelievable so it hurt us a lot, and it still hurts us; sometimes you only have to just say Sheffield Wednesday or Middlesbrough.
“There is nothing we could do, nothing more we could do as players, we finished the game and we knew we gave everything. If you go into the game at Sheffield and lose three or four players it hurts you.
“But now it is the same as if you are in the situation where you had maybe won the league, the year after you start with zero points and then you have to try and win the league again.
“So it is our target now, to be together, to focus, to fight as a team again, and then again and again because it is 46 games and a tough league. So we need to be ready - ourselves, the club and the fans - to be in the top position and nothing else.”
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Albion have lost a number of their warm-up games this summer, but even though the results are academic, Kayal admits the players hate losing any matches - be it friendlies or even in training.
“You don’t even want to lose in training here, that is the good mentality we have here.
“In pre-season the most important thing is to work hard and get ready for the league. Sometimes if you lose in training with a bad result it hurts, as a footballer and as a professional.
“We don’t take that easily; we take it as professionals. We know this is our time to be ready, to prepare ourselves, and to get ready for the most important moment when the league starts.”
With just over a week until the season opener at Derby, Kayal says the team have been pushed hard on the training pitch in the build-up to the new campaign.
“We are working hard every day in training, and people don’t see what we are doing every day. Day-by-day is actually a hard time for us in pre-season. We are working very hard but enjoying the work and we want to get ready for the start of the season.
“Personally I feel a lot more confident and happy, so I am looking forward to the start of the season and to do my best for the club and the team.
"I am enjoying every moment here, I have said that before, and now I am preparing myself for the next ten days so that I am ready."
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