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RUSK'S PRAISE FOR AN OUTSTANDING DISPLAY

4 October 2017

Paul Hazlewood
Simon Rusk talks tactics with Liam Rosenior at the Kassam Stadium.

Brighton & Hove Albion under-23 coach Simon Rusk applauded his players for a tremendous display against Oxford United in the Checkatrade Trophy last night, and felt they were unfortunate to not come away with all three points.

The Seagulls won 5-4 on penalties to secure a bonus point, after coming back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at the Kassam Stadium, and Rusk was delighted with the character shown by his young side.

He said, “It was an outstanding display. We found ourselves 2-0 down, but I didn't think that was the run of play, we were certainly in far more dangerous situations around their box than what they had been.

“I felt the 2-0 was a harsh scoreline, so the goal we scored was nothing short of what we deserved - it was a wonderful first goal.

“I thought we were perhaps unlucky not to win the game, but overall, we have to be delighted.

“We had a young side out, a very young back four, and overall, as a team, I thought it was a really impressive performance from the lads.”

Albion dispatched all five of their penalties, with Robert Sanchez making the vital save to seal an extra point, and Rusk revealed the confidence he had in his players from 12 yards.

“That was one thing I knew we’d be alright with, only because the lads spend hours at the end of training whacking penalties in against each other.

“They had a good mindset when taking the penalties. We always ask them to make a decision early, stick with it and make good contact with the ball.

“The biggest thing about penalties is the psychology behind it, and I thought the lads coped with that very well. It was also a good save from Robert Sanchez as well.”

Rusk also gave his thoughts on Jayson Molumby’s involvement in Albion’s first-team squad at Arsenal last Sunday, and believes it can provide inspiration for other players within the team.

“The fact that Jayson’s got in and around the Premier League squad is great for the academy as a whole and for the under-23 players.

“It shows them that if they perform to the standard we feel is required for the Premier League, the manager [Chris Hughton] will take the opportunity to involve them.

“The players can only see that as a great incentive to maximise their standards and performance, and if an opportunity comes, you’ve got to take it.”


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