Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Dale Stephens felt the side could have easily taken all three points from their Boxing Day clash against Arsenal yesterday, and believes they created the better chances in a gripping 90 minutes of football.
Albion grew into the game after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's opener, but Stephens says there is still room for improvement after having Maty Ryan to thank for denying the forward in the first half.
He said, “I thought we played some good stuff in the second half and it was similar to the Chelsea game in the sense that we pressed them, finished strongly and had the better chances.
“We were aware of the quality in their team and we knew we’d have to surrender a bit of possession early on. We did that, but they didn't created many clear-cut chances overall and I thought we stepped up in the second half and could’ve won it.
“We were disappointed with the way we let him [Aubameyang] in with one pass in the first half, but Maty has bailed us out several times this season.”
Albion’s number six played in a three-man midfield alongside Davy Propper and Pascal Gross for Wednesday’s game, and he highlighted the benefits of playing in that formation.
“We have played that system here a few times and against a few of the top teams away from home.
“I think it works when you want to keep hold of the ball a bit more and it works away from home, and you look at the Burnley and Huddersfield games, where we’ve put in good performances.
“If the manager wants to play me sitting in a three, then I am happy to do that and help the team.”
The draw ended Albion’s run of three consecutive defeats, but Stephens remained confident that the tide would turn after a string of impressive displays with the focus now turning to Saturday’s visit of Everton to the south coast.
“We knew we hadn’t picked up a point in the last three games, but I didn’t think we were too far away in the performances we’ve had. We knew it was an opportunity for us at home against one of the top teams to get three points, but we’ll take a point.
“Saturday will be another tough game. We’ve seen what they’re [Everton] about after playing them earlier in the season, so we’ll prepare as well as we can between now and then and hopefully we can get a good result.”