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Club News


17 January 2017

The Albion coach felt his team deserved all three points.

Brighton & Hove Albion under-23 boss Simon Rusk was pleased to see his team get the reward for their hard work and endeavour, as they convincingly overcame West Ham United 3-0 last night.

After successive defeats, the Seagulls bounced back with an impressive result at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre, and Rusk felt his players were worthy winners on the night.

He said, “I was really pleased for the lads because they didn’t get what they deserved at Newcastle, where we were narrowly beaten 1-0, but I thought we got what we deserved from this game.

“West Ham are a great side with lots of very good individuals, they move the ball very well, so we knew we’d have to be disciplined.

“But we showed that we have a clinical side too, so I’m very pleased for the boys and it’s always nice to get a clean sheet as well.

“I believe we’ve still got the best defensive record in the league and the boys can be proud of that, so it’s another step in the right direction.”

Aaron Connolly, who made his debut for the under-23s at only 16 years of age, scored either side of half-time to seal his brace, and Rusk was delighted that the young striker took his chance.

“It’s an area of the team where we’re a bit short in the under-23s, and he stepped up, took his opportunity and topped off a fabulous team performance with two very good individual goals.

“I’ve seen a lot of Aaron, he’s trained with the under-23s a few times, like the younger ones do, and he’s put in a couple of very encouraging performances in the FA Youth Cup.

“He’s fortunate that there’s a bit of space in the number nine position, but he’s taken his opportunity and done himself no harm at all.”

First-team defender Liam Rosenior completed 60 minutes against the Hammers, as he continues to work on his fitness after injury, and Rusk felt the 32-year-old showed good signs of improvement.

“It was always the plan for Liam to get an hour, he obviously got the 45 minutes under his belt against Coventry, which was great, and he took another step forward.

“I think he looked a lot sharper and moved more freely both physically and mentally. I thought he did great, he’s a top professional and it’s pleasing to see him get another 60 minutes on the pitch.”

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