Albion's under-23 coach is targeting a place in the knockout stages.
Simon Rusk was pleased to keep Brighton & Hove Albion’s hopes of progressing to the knockout stages of the Checkatrade Trophy alive, following last night’s penalty shoot-out victory against Stevenage.
The Seagulls won 4-3 on penalties after drawing 2-2 in normal time, and Rusk knows a win against Leyton Orient at the Amex in November will seal their progress.
He said, “The one thing we wanted to do was make sure the third game at the Amex still meant something, and that’s the case, so we’re very happy.
“Obviously the tournament as a whole has been well supported, so we hope we get a good turnout and put on a good performance against Orient.
“We’re disappointed we didn’t win the game and get the three points, but we’ve got to look at the game for what it is.
“If we win the next game, we go through and we’ve got to be pleased with that.”
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Albion conceded late on, which sent the game to penalties, and although pleased to secure the extra point, Rusk was frustrated his team couldn’t hold on to their lead.
“I’m disappointed not to win it, we created more than enough opportunities in the first half to put the game to bed.
“We got into some good areas and Elvis [Manu] had some good opportunities, and obviously the first goal was an excellent, but we should have been clear at half-time.
“I knew they’d be a little bit more aggressive in the second half, and I’m obviously disappointed to concede the goal, because at 2-1 up after 86 minutes, we’d worked so hard to get back in front.
“We thought both goals were very preventable. There were a few mistakes in the decision making in the lead up to the second goal, but this competition is here to help younger players develop.”
Rusk included a number of first-team players in the starting line-up at the Lamex Stadium, and highlighted their positive impact on the entire squad.
“All of the senior players are good pros, and good people. It’s always nice to have them around, and their experience was a pleasure for us to have for the game.
“Of course it’s great for them to be around our younger players, and I thought some of them acquitted themselves very well against professional opposition.”
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