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Club News


28 April 2018

Geoff Penn
Simon Rusk

Brighton & Hove Albion under-23s manager Simon Rusk praised his side's professionalism in their 3-0 win over Middlesbrough on Friday evening at the Amex.

A brace from Victor Gyokeres and a strike from Henrik Bjordal sent the Seagulls into the Premier League 2 Division 2 play-off final, where either Aston Villa or Reading await, and Rusk was satisfied with the way his side handled the contest.

He said, “I thought the lads did very well – in the first half we had a lot of the ball but couldn’t create many clear-cut chances.

“But I was confident that if we kept it up in the second half, then the goals would come, and I thought we took our chances very well in the end and fully deserved the win.

“We know we’ve got goals in us and we delivered another clean sheet. We deserve to get to the final and the scoreline reflects that.

The first half came to a close with both sides on level terms at the break after a tense and goalless opening period, but Rusk praised his side’s perseverance in search of an opening goal.

“I was pleased with the patience the boys showed; Middlesbrough had a few chances but I was confident our firepower would help us.

“It was a great ball from George [Cox] into Victor [Gyokeres] – they’re good goals again and now we have to recover because we’ve now got a great game to look forward to.

“It was good to see the fans here tonight as well – it’s great for the lads to know people take an interest and that they’re supported so well.”

Promotion to Premier League 2 Division 1 would represent a remarkable achievement giving the side’s turnaround in form for the side since January – a run which has seen them pick up eight wins from nine matches, scoring 29 goals in the process.

“To get promotion would be a reward for everyone’s hard work this season, we’re not getting carried away, but we’re in a good position and we want to play against the best players and teams – both myself and the lads.

“There are good teams in both leagues and now we’ve come this far, we want to get over the line.”

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