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Club News

STEPHENS TARGETS IMPROVED DISPLAY

16 August 2018

Paul Hazlewood
Albion midfielder Dale Stephens.

Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Dale Stephens was quick to highlight this weekend’s clash against Manchester United as the perfect opportunity to make up for the opening-day defeat to Watford.

The Seagulls left Vicarage Road empty-handed last weekend, and although Stephens accepts it was an underwhelming performance, the 29-year-old is now fully focused on recording a positive result at the Amex Stadium.

He said, “It was obviously a disappointing start to the season for us, but we’ve come back in this week and dissected the game to take out what we need - we’re now fully looking forward to a massive game this weekend.

“With it being the first game, we wanted to start strong. It took us a little while to get going last season, so we were conscious of making a fast start this time around.

“But it’s only one game. We’ve still got a lot of football to be played, it’s not all doom and gloom. We’ve got a massive game to start a run on Sunday.”

Chris Hughton’s side secured their Premier League status with a 1-0 victory over the Red Devils on the south coast last season, and Stephens highlighted the importance of achieving success at home once again.

“It helps on the belief side of things [beating Manchester United], but we put in many good performances last season, especially at home.

“We’re going to look to do that throughout this season - it’s massive for a club like ours to be strong at home, it’s probably what kept us up last season.

“If we’re going to build on what we did last time, then we’re definitely going to have to improve on our away form.”

Albion’s midfield options were strengthened over the summer by the arrival of Yves Bissouma from Lille OSC, and Stephens commented on the positive impression the Malian has already made.

“Bissouma looks a very exciting talent - along with Ali, he’s come in and freshened things up. I’m sure he’ll get a lot more game time this season. It’s exciting for that calibre of player to come in and help us.

“He’s a good lad - he doesn’t speak much English but he’s improved since walking through the door.

“He’s a good character and has a bundle of ability. I’m sure the Brighton fans will be excited to see that throughout the season.”


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