Brighton & Hove Albion defender Liam Rosenior says today’s match against Atletico Madrid is an ideal way to finish pre-season, and says the Spanish team provide a perfect model to follow heading into this season’s Premier League.
Rosenior explained that their mixture of talent and hard graft has reaped dividends in recent years, and how Albion can use this example heading into their first top-flight campaign in 34 years.
He said, “I am massively looking forward to it. It’s a great test for us against some of the best players in the world; against a manager who I really respect. They play in a style that really suits English football and one that’s perfect for us leading into the Man City game.
“They’ve got fantastic individual players with the likes of Griezmann, Torres, Saul, and Juan Fran the right back, who is a fantastic player.
“Since [Diego] Simeone has come into the club, he’s built a team that’s strong in spirit and are very organised. They often play with a 4-4-2, and we’ve taken notice of the way they play in their shape, organisation and structure.
“If you can get top players to work as hard as they do and press the way they do, they will win a lot of games. Since Simeone has been there, they’ve been really successful.
"What’s impressed me most about them is that they have top players, but they’re all willing to work hard for each other and be organised. We can take that from them.”
The experienced full-back has been pleased with the side’s performances in pre-season so far, and praised the way the new signings have settled into the squad.
“As a squad we take pride in our defensive record. We know it’s one of the key building blocks to any success. It’s not just the back four and goalkeeper, the whole team is willing to work to a shape.
“We need to take that into the Premier League, and if we do that, we’ve got a really good chance of having a good season this year.
“They’ve been outstanding and have got great individual qualities as players. Maty as a goalkeeper and Markus’s left foot is outstanding, Pascal is technically a fantastic player.
“But more importantly, they fit into the structure and fit into the culture of the club. They’re all down-to-earth guys that are willing to work hard for the team.”