Brighton & Hove Albion defender Gaetan Bong praised his on-field relationship with Solly March, and explained how they combined perfectly in last Sunday’s win over Manchester United.
Bong and March caused havoc for the United defence at the weekend, and the defender explained how the duo’s work together on the training pitch is starting to reap dividends.
He said, “I speak a lot with Solly and he has the potential to be one of the best wingers in this league, because he has top quality.
“But having top quality doesn’t always mean you are going to be a top player. I know from experience what it’s like to play against big teams and big full-backs that will do everything to try and stop you.
“I train every day with Solly and he knows it’s very hard to pass me. I talk to him and say to do these things because it will cause full-backs problems.
“Against United, he managed to do that. I say to anyone that it’s important as a full back to have a good connection with your winger.
“If you have that, then you will put the opposition in trouble. That’s what we did against United and the whole team was working in the same direction.”
The Cameroonian also spoke about how he carefully judges when to join in with the team’s attacks going forward, without negating his defensive responsibilities.
“Against United, I went forwards a couple of times in the first half. In the second half, I had space a few times, but I didn’t go forward.
“That comes with experience. When you’re young, you keep going, but you need to realise that you cannot put your team in trouble. You want to go forward and enjoy your football, but now I only go forward when I know for certain that I can get the ball.
“If I’m not sure, then I won’t go. If we are losing, then maybe I will go forward, but if we are winning or drawing then I might not, because I don’t want to take the risk.”
Up next for Albion is a mouth-watering match against Liverpool at Anfield, and Bong highlighted the importance of not focusing on stopping certain individuals ahead of their trip to Merseyside.
“We know from last year how tough it was against Liverpool. We know they are a team that presses high, you are always under pressure, and they’re very good on the counter attack.
“We know it’s going to be hard, but we are going to try everything to get something from the game.
“You cannot say that if you stop one player, it will solve everything. The main thing for us is to avoid making any mistakes, because if you give them a chance, they’ll take it.
“The best way for us to play against this type of team is to focus on being at our best level, then we’ll give ourselves a chance of getting something from the game.”