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ULLOA: EVERY GAME NOW IS A CUP FINAL

22 February 2018

Paul Hazelwood
Leonardo Ulloa celebrates getting on the scoresheet against Coventry City.

Brighton & Hove Albion striker Leonardo Ulloa highlighted the significance of Saturday's Premier League fixture against Swansea City.

The Seagulls return to Premier League action a fortnight after drawing 1-1 away to Stoke City at the bet365 Stadium, and the Argentine is wary of Swansea's recent resurgence in form.

He said, “Each of the league games is a cup final now in itself – every game in the division is so difficult, Swansea are in good form now and they’ve picked up results over the last month or so. 

“They’ve won against big teams and will be confident – so we must give our best and we know it won't be easy. 

“We had a good result last weekend, but the league is where our focus has to be and we have to stay here – Saturday is a big game.” 

The forward joined on loan from Leicester City until the end of the season towards the end of the transfer window last month after three-and-a-half years away from the south coast, and he stressed that the return to the Amex was everything he had anticipated. 

“It’s been everything I expected for when I returned, and I feel so happy to be here.

“I knew the group would be nice and the great training ground and facilities, the city, and the fans are all what I expected when I signed again.

“Now the group is performing consistently and we’re in a good way, the atmosphere is good as well – now hopefully we can continue in the same way.”

The striker opened his Brighton account for the campaign with the third goal in Saturday’s 3-1 Emirates FA Cup victory over Coventry City, and explained that finding the net would give him a big boost for the remainder of the season.

“It was great to get off the mark – to win the game as well made it even better.

“GoalS will always give strikers confidence, it doesn’t matter who the opposition is - in any division or on any stage. 

“Now I want to carry that on and I want to put pressure on the manager to pick me each week with the good competition we have here.” 

Hughton has made wholesale changes for the Emirates FA Cup matches of his team so far this season, and has still fielded strong sides in each encounter. Ulloa highlighted the strength in-depth that the club now has with playing personnel during their debut season in the top flight.

“It’s a squad with a lot of good players and it’s the first time the club has been in the Premier League – that’s why the group is so good and I can understand when supporters say it is one of the best they’ve seen. 

“That’s what you need, you have to have two or three good players in every position, and then that allows you to make decisions without affecting the level.

“I think the manager is happy with that because everyone wants to play and gives everything in training – but he can only choose 11 so we have to show everything all week. 

“When you are fighting each other four or five days a week then you’ll always improve – and you know that if you don’t, then somebody will take your position.”


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