Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Dale Stephens says the team will be aiming for an improved performance against Everton at the weekend, despite securing three Premier League victories in a row.
Albion head into Saturday’s match having recorded three hard-fought 1-0 wins over West Ham United, Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanderers respectively, but Stephens says their displays will need to improve to keep the winning run intact.
He said, “We’ve had some good results of late, but we’ll be looking to build on that now.
“We’ve picked up points, but I don’t think we’ve played as well as we can, and we've probably played better and lost some matches.
“The back four plus Maty [Ryan] have been outstanding, but we don’t want to make them work as hard as they have been.
“We don’t want to rely on Maty making saves late in the game and we’d like to make life a bit more comfortable for ourselves. That means us playing better.”
Stephens assessed Everton’s progress so far this season and spoke about the key threats from both Gylfi Sigurdsson and Richarlison.
“They’ve done well of late, and are a good side that probably sit just outside that top bracket of teams.
“He’s [Sigurdsson] kicked on this year. He might be disappointed with his form last year, but he’s got hold of that Everton team from the position he plays this season and he’s scored a few goals as well.
“He’s a key figure, but they’ve got a lot of other quality in that squad as well. Richarlison is another top player, and they’ve got a squad full of them.
“A lot of their players have played in the Premier League for a long time, but it will be a good challenge for us, and one we’re looking forward to in good confidence.”
The Albion midfielder also spoke about Chris Hughton’s role in the team’s solid start to the campaign, and explained how the Seagulls boss will be happy to continue going under the radar.
“Everyone in the country knows what he’s done and I am sure he won’t be too fussed about not getting the recognition he deserves. I’m sure the club won’t mind too much either.
“He’s gone about his job quietly, but he’s done it very well and we’re looking to build on what we’ve done in the early part of the season.”