Brighton & Hove Albion defender Leon Balogun says he’s relishing his spell at the heart of the Seagulls’ backline following yesterday’s game with Chelsea at the Amex Stadium.
The Nigeria international partnered Lewis Dunk for the third top-flight contest in succession against Maurizio Sarri’s men, and he spoke of his enjoyment as part of the current group of Albion faces.
He said, “I’m really enjoying my spell in the side, I had two games with Shane [Duffy] before when Lewis [Dunk] was injured, and it’s always great fun.
“That goes for being part of this group as a whole, it’s a fantastic squad and dressing room that plays very passionately for one another.
“We pushed a big side all the way on Sunday, and that’s something you have to enjoy - we’ve beaten Manchester United here already this campaign and ran Liverpool close, and those are the challenges you have to relish as a footballer, especially in front of your own fans.”
First-half goals from Pedro and Eden Hazard had given the visitors a two-goal advantage, before Solly March pulled a goal back for the home side, Balogun reflected honestly on the afternoon.
“We could have easily got something from the game – we feel like we’ve given them two early Christmas presents.
“It’s a poor pass from me for the second, but we reacted to that after the break and did very well in the second half.
“I think we gave them a really hard time, and that’s why the disappointment is there for us.”
The Seagulls reacted well following the restart, and after March’s goal, the home side also saw Dunk nod a late ball into the box narrowly wide before a frustrating contest was brought to a close with the hosts unable to find the leveller their second half performance deserved.
“The manager was frustrated by the goals we conceded – they’re more or less unforced errors, but we can take encouragement by thinking what have would happened if it wasn't for those moments in the game.
“I can’t think of another chance where they really troubled us, and the manager just emphasised that we should remain focused and stay in the game at the break.
“We even topped that and we were close to getting something that we deserved.
“It has to give us confidence – we had them on the edge of getting a draw, nobody would have complained if we managed to get a point.”