Brighton & Hove Albion goalkeeper Maty Ryan has challenged the side to begin in the ascendency when the Seagulls host Arsenal at the Amex Stadium tomorrow afternoon (5.15pm).
The televised Boxing Day clash is the first of three games in eight days for Chris Hughton’s men, and the Australian believes a fast start could be pivotal against Unai Emery’s side.
He said, “We’ve been strong at home and can use the success we had over them last season as motivation.
“It’s a different set of circumstances now but we’ve had good results against the division’s bigger sides at the Amex Stadium in the past and it’s important that we use that to our advantage.
“The game against Manchester United was one that we started really strongly, and we got ourselves on the front foot.
“Perhaps in the matches against Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea we showed the opponent a bit too much respect in contrast, so we have to take those lessons into Wednesday and take the game to Arsenal.”
The Seagulls slipped to a 2-0 defeat against AFC Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon, with David Brooks netting a decisive double for the Cherries despite a promising opening half to the contest from Albion – the goalkeeper reflected on the disappointing game against Eddie Howe’s men.
“It’s difficult to say if we’ve deserved more from our last three matches, you can’t change what’s happened in the past.
“That’s the nature of football, it’s about key moments and taking the chances when they come along, especially in the Premier League where you have to be clinical with the opportunities you get – we saw that today [Saturday].
“We also have to be stubborn and solid at the back, the sport is about the team making the most of things at both ends of the pitch.”
Ryan also highlighted the importance of momentum in such a competitive division, as well as the role the home fans can play on Wednesday.
“At the moment it isn’t falling our way, but since I’ve been in this league there seems to be a big thing about momentum.
“You seem to win on the bounce and then have losses on the bounce, but it’s about dusting yourself off to keep going.
“It’s all about the next game for us and getting as many points as we can, we feel disappointed for the fans that made the journey to Bournemouth on Saturday because it was tough to take.
“We want them to enjoy the game back at home because we need their support on Wednesday, they can make a big difference.”