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RYAN'S CONFIDENCE IN ALBION IDENTITY

18 October 2017

Paul Hazlewood
Mathew Ryan giving instructions against Everton.

Brighton & Hove Albion goalkeeper Mathew Ryan highlighted the team’s organised strategy at the back and believes his team-mates are comfortable with attacking from a defensive shape.

The Seagulls came close to securing a third clean sheet of the season on Sunday, before Wayne Rooney’s 90th-minute penalty, and Ryan assessed his team’s resolute identity.

He said, “Defensively, I think that’s one of our strengths, to get back in our block and sit deep.

“I’ve realised that’s our identity as a team, that we are happy to sit back and let our centre-backs deal with any balls coming into the box.

“From that defensive shape, you can then get the ball and commit a few players forward.

“That pattern panned out in the first half and it’s what I’ve come to expect - absorb that pressure at the beginning, keep the defence solid and then work forward from there.”

Albion’s Australian shot-stopper made two spectacular saves deep into stoppage time to prevent Everton from snatching all three points, and he reflected on his important contribution.

“Obviously, being a goalkeeper, you’ve got to contribute sometimes and thankfully in that moment I was able to be there.

“I’ve come to realise from my experiences, that when you’re just playing off your instincts, without thinking too much, that’s when things just flow and happen naturally.

“After my adaption phase at the beginning [of the season], I’m getting more comfortable, I’m understanding my players more, and I think they’re understanding me.

“I’m growing into my role within the team and I’m just thankful to keep working with these bunch of guys and the coaching staff. I’m just really enjoying my football.”

Ryan touched upon the importance of securing points at the Amex, following Sunday’s disappointing finish, but is now focused on preparing for Friday’s game against West Ham United at the London Stadium.

“It’s a missed opportunity [v Everton], and from my experience so far, you need to be picking up as many points as you can, especially here at home.

“It’s important to make your home a fortress, and we’ve done that, other than the City game at the start of the season, but we’ll look back on this game and think of two points lost.

“We take a lot of positives from the game also, but to take the lead and throw it away at the end is obviously disappointing.
 
“But we’ve got to move on, regroup and recuperate with the quick turn around before Friday’s game.”


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