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STEPHENS CONFIDENT OF PUSHING ON

14 February 2017

The Albion midfielder believes the team have learned from tasting defeat.


Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Dale Stephens is confident that a recent blip of three games without a win has given the side a wake-up call heading into the final third of the season.
 
Albion responded from their minor dip in form with a comfortable 4-1 victory over Burton on Saturday, and the midfielder backed his team-mates to continue the club’s push for promotion.
 
He said: “The focus has never been away, but when you suffer a defeat like we did at Huddersfield, it gives you a boot in the right direction.
 
“It’s easy to get complacent when you’ve been at the top of the league for quite a long time, but we took the positives from that situation and hopefully that can kick us on.
 
“It will be a difficult game, they’re off the back of a decent result away at Villa. Mick McCarthy will come here and set his team up like he always has done.
 
“Ipswich have a style of play that they play very well, and they frustrate you. We’re expecting a similar game, but it’s always different when you’re playing at home.”

Stephens has yet to taste defeat when starting for the Seagulls this season, but dismissed the statistic and highlighted the contribution of the entire team.

“I’ve been reminded of that a few times over the last few weeks, but it’s not just about one player. We’ve come through a sticky patch with a good result at the weekend, and hopefully we can build on that now.
 
“I just try to do my job as best as possible. It’s not just about me, we’ve got good options in my position and they’re more than capable of doing my job.
 
“I don’t think it’s just about my presence. With the games that we played a couple of weeks ago, if you don’t play well, you don’t win games. It wasn’t about me not playing, we just didn’t play well on the day.”
 
The Albion midfielder praised the influence of the fans at the Amex in recent weeks and feels that a quick turnaround in games can help the team.
 
“It’s obviously a nice place to play your football, in front of a lot of fans and you feel the energy from the supporters.
 
“There’s a big buzz around the place and there has been for a while now. It does help you produce on the pitch.
 
“It’s come quickly after the good result at the weekend. We want to play more games, we’ve certainly got more coming up, and we’re looking forward to them.”

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