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STEVENS BACKS ALBION TO RELISH OLD TRAFFORD TIE

17 March 2018

REX/Shutterstock
Gary Stevens playing for Albion in the 1983 FA Cup Final.

Former Brighton & Hove Albion defender Gary Stevens believes Chris Hughton’s men must relish the prospect of playing Manchester United at Old Trafford, and backed the Seagulls boss to select a full-strength side for the Emirates FA Cup quarter-final tie.

Saturday’s trip to Old Trafford sees Hughton’s team come up against Albion’s 1983 FA Cup Final opponents Manchester United, and Stevens, who made it 2-2 at Wembley Stadium, urged the Seagulls to show no fear.

He said, “As you get closer to the final, there are less opportunities for shocks, but I think Brighton go into the game with a good opportunity and have nothing to loss and everything to gain.

“You can look at it two ways. It’s either a daunting prospect and something to fear, or it’s a great opportunity and something to relish.

“My feeling is that you look at it the second way, and I’m hoping that Brighton go there seeing it exactly the same.

“I don’t know what the feeling is in the Brighton group at the moment, or with the fans, but if Brighton can get into the semi-final, you have to start thinking ‘this could be our second special year in the FA Cup’.

“Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club is over 100 years of age and it’s only been to one FA Cup Final, so it would be a major, major achievement again - as it was in 1983.”

Albion head straight into an international break after this weekend’s clash at Old Trafford, and with an FA Cup semi-final spot up for grabs, Stevens believes Hughton will field his strongest possible side against the Red Devils.

“Opportunities like this don’t come along too often, unless you’re one of the monsters in this day and age. I think the quarter-final of the FA Cup is a great opportunity, no matter who you’re playing.

“I think Chris will pick a positive team to go and win the game. For me, good results in the cup can assist you with good results in the league.

“It’s not as if Brighton are also playing in the Champions League at the moment. They have eight league games remaining, and hopefully more than one FA Cup game.

“If Chris Hughton can’t pick his strongest 11 for the next nine games, I’ll be very surprised.”


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