Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Steve Sidwell expressed his disappointment after missing the chance to secure the Sky Bet Championship title against Bristol City, but backed his team-mates to show their character on the final day of the season.
Albion’s 1-0 defeat against the Robins prevented them from lifting the trophy at the Amex on Saturday, and Sidwell was left frustrated after the Seagulls missed their second opportunity since securing promotion to the Premier League.
He said, “I’m massively disappointed, considering what Saturday could and should have been. I know we’ve got another chance next week, but our hopes were pinned on this game.
“No disrespect to Bristol City, but with us being at home and our record at home, the celebrations should have been better out there.
“The lap of honour should have been with the trophy, but we’ve got another chance at Villa Park next week.
“It’s going to be very tough, especially after two defeats, but we’ll have to pick ourselves up and show character. We get three bites at the cherry and we’ll need the third one.”
The midfielder was unable to identify the main reason behind Albion’s defeat, but felt nerves weren’t to blame, as he looked back on how his team-mates have coped with pressure throughout the season.
“I don’t think it was nerves. We’ve had bigger games this season where we’ve had to grind out a result, and we’ve done that.
“Maybe it was just the whole party feel. I can understand that they wanted to make it a day for everyone to enjoy, and obviously we’ve let them down with that.
“I can guarantee you that there’s a lot of heads down and it feels like a real disappointment, but we’ve got one more game to go and we’ll give it our all.”
The Seagulls need three points against Aston Villa to guarantee the league title, and Sidwell believes Albion will need to play to their full potential to secure victory at Villa Park.
“They’ll want to finish on a high, with it being their last home game as well. They’re going to want to end on a good note for their fans.
“We need to go there in the right frame of mind, and each one of us will need to be at the top of our game to get something out of it.”