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STEPHENS EMPHASISES NEED TO REFOCUS

5 December 2017

Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Dale Stephens has emphasised the need to erase the memory of Saturday’s defeat to Liverpool and focus on this weekend’s next challenge, away to Huddersfield Town.

The ever-present Stephens – who has played every minute of top flight football for the Seagulls so far this season, quickly looked ahead to the game in Yorkshire following Albion’s first home loss in five matches at the weekend.

He said, “It’s another big game for us and we’ve got plenty more matches between now and Christmas, so the thing we must do is dust ourselves down and keep going.

“It will be another tough game but we have to re-group this week now and then get ready for what will be a different challenge.

“We’ll got there with confidence and see it as a good opportunity to get three points in what is a crucial stage of the season.

“It’s been a busy season and it’s what we’ve worked so hard for over the last two years – we’re where we want to be in the Premier League and will keep working hard and picking up points.”

Liverpool took a quick-fire two goal lead in the first half at the Amex Stadium on Saturday, and the midfielder admitted that the hosts’ game-plan fell by the wayside after Jurgen Klopp’s men scored those goals in quick succession.

“We had a plan that we worked on during the week and we wanted to keep space to a minimum, but when the first goal goes in it goes out of the window a little bit.

“We’re usually good at denying opposition space and it’s worked in several games this year but we’ll look back at it this week.

“Liverpool had a lot of possession and maybe we dropped too deep at times.”

But for all their opponents’ attacking threat, Chris Hughton’s men also had plenty of opportunities themselves. With the score at 2-0, Glenn Murray was denied at close range by Simon Mignolet before the visitors netted up the other end immediately afterwards.

Stephens conceded that although the side continued to fashion chances, Liverpool were more clinical and made the home team pay the price for not taking advantage. 

“We had plenty of chances and got into some good areas and on another day we could have pulled ourselves back into the game. 

“But when you don’t take those chances in key moments you will get punished. 

“Their attacking line-up is probably one of the best that I’ve come up against, but we’re in a busy period at the moment and it was always going to be tough.” 


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