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POCOGNOLI PRAISES ALBION'S CHARACTER

24 January 2017

The Belgian full-back has been impressed with Albion's team spirit.


Brighton & Hove Albion defender Sebastien Pocognoli praised the togetherness of the squad this season, and believes it is comparable to the AZ Alkmaar side he was part of that won the Dutch Eredivisie title.
 
The 29-year-old highlighted the strong sense of closeness between Albion’s players, ahead of this evening’s rearranged fixture with Cardiff City at the Amex.
 
He said, “The character of the team is very good and I could see that from the first day that I came here. The dressing room is special and there's good friendship between the players.
 
“For me, I haven’t seen that a lot in my career, the last time I saw that was in the Netherlands, and we were champions.
 
“The secret to success is to be together and fight together, and I think that’s the biggest quality of this team.”
 
Pocognoli returned to the starting line-up after facing a spell on the sidelines through injury, but the Belgian insists that he takes every game as it comes and never gets too comfortable.
 
“I’m now 29 years old and I have enough experience to know that in football, things can change very quickly, both in a good and bad way.
 
“So I just enjoy game by game; one month ago I had the chance to play against Leeds and Blackburn, then I got injured and maybe without that, I would have carried on playing.
 
“Next week I don't know what will happen, because everything can change very quickly, but what I can do is fight for the team and help the team.
 
“If I play more than 20 games by the end of the season, I’ll be very happy, but I have to remain focused and work well, then the gaffer [Chris Hughton] will make his choice.”

The Seagulls can return to the top of the Sky Bet Championship with victory over the Bluebirds this evening, and Pocognoli pinpointed February as a pivotal month going forward.

“We dream of that [promotion], but we still need to win the games. There are still 20 games remaining, that’s 60 points and that’s a lot.
 
“I think February will be a tough month with a lot of very difficult games, and if we can manage with that month, we can then talk a little bit more positively about the end of the season.
 
“But at this moment, we just need to do our business and fight as hard as we can. After February we have three games in March and then a busy April, but if you negotiate the games in February, then March and April can be a little bit different.
 
“There may be more or less pressure, it depends a lot on February and how the three games in March go.”

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