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Club News

STEPHENS ENJOYING EXTENDED RUN IN TEAM

23 January 2018

Paul Hazlewood
Dale Stephens

Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Dale Stephens is enjoying his extended run in the team, as the team prepares for Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup fourth round tie against Middlesbrough at the Riverside.

Stephens explained how he values game time even more after a long-term injury lay-off in 2014, and how a win over Boro can give Albion confidence in the battle to maintain their Premier League status.

He said, “I know more than anyone what it’s like to not play football. I’ve had injuries and I want to play in every minute of every game possible. I’m looking forward to the game.

“Obviously it wasn’t a good day the last time we went up there [to Middlesbrough], but it’s a different time and we’ve moved on from that.

“We want to carry on in the FA Cup, and it’s a good game for us to try and win and go through.

“We put in a good performance in the last round [v Crystal Palace] and got back to winning ways and we expected it to kick us on a bit.

“It didn’t happen, but we’ve got another opportunity to win a football game and if we go up there and pick up a good result, then we’ll take confidence from that as well.”

The midfielder also expressed his disappointment following Saturday’s 4-0 defeat to Chelsea, and feels it could’ve been a different game if the side had capitalised on a promising spell in the match with the score at 2-0.

“When you give a team of Chelsea’s quality a leg up from the start, it’s always going to be difficult afternoon for you, but we reacted well after going behind twice. It was going to be tough from the start.

“Of course you don’t want to concede goals. The first two involved some quality play from them, but you’re going to get that when you play a team like that.

“We probably should’ve done better with the first goal and the second is a great one from their behalf, but we reacted well and needed to score next.

“If we had scored and brought it back to 2-1, it could’ve been a different game, but later on there was a bit of fatigue on our behalf which saw us concede two more.”


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