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BALOGUN: THE BAR HAS BEEN SET

22 August 2018

Paul Hazlewood
Leon Balogun is all smiles after his Premier League debut and the win over Manchester United.

Brighton & Hove Albion defender Leon Balogun believes that the Seagulls have set the standard for their performances in the 2018/19 campaign after Sunday’s win over Manchester United at the Amex Stadium.

Three first-half goals from Glenn Murray, Shane Duffy and Pascal Gross were enough to see Chris Hughton’s side record their first league win of the season, and he emphasised that Albion must now maintain the levels they reached in the victory over Jose Mourinho’s men. 

He said, “It’s an amazing way to get our first win of the season – we’ve set the bar really high now and we showed a great reaction from the Watford defeat. 

“This is the level we always want to achieve consistently, and it was a great afternoon for me. 

“It’s too early to make predictions, we’ve had one good game and one bad game and still have some aspects to improve – it’s about consistency and if we can perform like we have on Sunday, then it will be a strong season.”

The Nigerian international made his Premier League debut when he came on for Lewis Dunk during the first half on the south coast, but he insisted that it was easy for him to adapt for his debut in English football. 

“Psychologically it wasn’t the biggest challenge for me because I’m 30-years old and have a lot of experience in the game. 

“The biggest thing was adapting to the style of play within the side, because I came back in quite late after the World Cup during the summer. 

“It’s different in competitive matches, in the first goal Romelu Lukaku was my man and I didn’t pick him up during the second phase of play – the ball got deflected and I didn’t anticipate – these are the challenges that I still have to get used to. 

“But the team made it quite easy and we talked a lot in defence and that helped me settle in quite fast – it’s normal that it might take a while.”

Albion travel to Liverpool on Saturday evening in their next league encounter, and the central defender is anticipating a different game to the one against Mourinho’s side.

“I expected the game to perhaps be a bit quicker, but they said that’s the sort of game to expect against Manchester United.

“Liverpool will be completely different because I know how Jurgen Klopp likes his teams to play from during my time in Germany.

“I think it will be a lot more intense this weekend but I’m looking forward to it – it’s been an exciting and crazy summer for me.”

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