Brighton & Hove Albion goalkeeper Mathew Ryan hopes that Saturday’s win over West Ham United will give the side fresh impetus heading into another big game against survival rivals Stoke City this afternoon.
The 3-1 victory over the Hammers ended a run of six league games without a victory for the Seagulls, and Ryan is eager to replicate that winning feeling against the Potters.
He said, “You’ve got to take any inspiration or momentum that you can, and it plays such a big role in sport.
“Teams can go on a run - look at Swansea, who have beaten both Liverpool and Arsenal at home respectively in recent games.
“The result over West Ham was good, but the way in which we achieved it was the most confidence-boosting thing and we limited them to very few chances. We also provided a constant threat going forward too.
“The pressure is not off now, but it allows us to take another deep breath before we go again this weekend. It’s so tight that another poor run could lead to us being further in the thick of it [battle to stay up].”
The Australian shot-stopper spoke about joining in the celebrations following Jose Izquierdo’s fantastic strike against the Hammers, and how the moment felt even sweeter after a tough run of results.
“I guess people know me and it’s a bit of a trademark. I’m very competitive and there’s no better feeling than winning, especially when there’s been a bit of time since the last win with a few losses and tough results.
“I’ve always taken the opportunity to celebrate a win or goals. I was thankful that Jose made a beeline for me, so I didn’t have to run all the way up the other end of the pitch, which I have done a few times this year!”
Ryan also assessed the threat that Stoke will provide and expects the Potters to give Albion’s backline a stern test once again.
“From the game we played against them at the Amex, they had a bit of skill and quality going forward, with the obvious ones being [Xherdan] Shaqiri and [Maxim] Choupo-Moting. They've got a lot of experience and they’ve got a number of big physical players.
“They have plenty of presence from set-pieces and we’ve got to be at the top of our game, but if we can continue from where we left off last week, there’s no reason why we can’t get three points.
“Obviously teams are a lot stronger at home, so we have to take that into consideration, but we’ll be going into it looking to take maximum points.”