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Club News


3 November 2018

Paul Hazlewood
Simon Rusk discusses the game with Shannon Ruth on the touchline.

Brighton & Hove Albion under-23 coach Simon Rusk admitted his team paid the price for uncharacteristic lapses in concentration against Everton, as the Seagulls were beaten 2-1 on Friday evening.

Aaron Connolly’s 12th goal of the season proved too little too late for Rusk’s side on the south coast, and the Albion coach was left disappointed that his team were unable to stick to the basics.

He said, “For all of our good play and moments in the game, from our point of view we pride ourselves on doing the basics well and both goals were indicative of not doing that.

“It was a bit uncharacteristic for us. The first goal is a really poor goal in a big game, a tough game. Hugo [Keto] has a crazy moment, makes a bad decision and gets caught out - which happens and it’s one he’ll need to learn from.

“Sometimes you have to feel a bit of pain to really learn. He’s been excellent for us over the past couple of weeks — he makes a lot of good decisions and was very good against Chelsea and Benfica.

“But obviously it made the game very hard for us and suited Everton tactically. For all of our play we didn’t quite get the rub of the green and perhaps the goal our play deserved.

“We switch off at a corner on 70-plus minutes and really and truly it took the game away from us at that point. It was disappointing but football is about getting the basics right and we can’t say we did that.”

“It’s a slip up and it’s against a good team, but it’s one that the team has to learn from. Two critical moments of concentration and decision making punished us.”

The Seagulls dropped to fourth position in the Premier League 2 Division 1 table, but on assessment of his team’s season so far, Rusk put Friday’s result to one side and praised his players for their application.

“We concentrate on our processes as a team. There are certain things that we want to be able to step on the pitch and say we’ve done well or at least attempted to do well.

“It’s about our work rate and how disciplined we are without the ball, but we also want to impact the game with the ball as well.

“This season, by and large, we’ve done that and that’s allowed us to get some good results along the way. A lot of those things were there to see, but it’s about the fine margins of concentration.

“Overall, I’ve been delighted with the players so far. The approach has been very good and we’ve played some good football. We’ve done very well to stay in games and win games.

“It’s another good one to learn from and we’ll need to bounce back. It was always going to be a tough season and we don’t think there will be anything different over the next 12 games to come in this league.”

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