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BERNARDO BACKS YOUNG SEAGULLS TO SHINE

23 October 2018

Paul Hazlewood
Bernardo in action against SL Benfica B on Monday evening.

Brighton & Hove Albion defender Bernardo has backed a number of Albion’s under-23 side to soon be in the frame for the first team.

The Brazilian played the entirety of the side’s 2-0 win over SL Benfica B in the Premier League International Cup on Monday night, and spoke glowingly of his team-mates following their impressive start to the campaign. 

He said, “It’s a really good team and I feel like there are a lot of players in this side that can shine for the first team in the future.” 

“It was a good experience to play in a game with such speed and I think the club have really good young players. 

“It was a good game for me and it was good to get some minutes at a high tempo to keep me sharp.”

First-half goals from Viktor Gyokeres and Aaron Connolly gave Simon Rusk’s side their first win in the competition, adding to their impressive league form which sees them occupy third position in Premier League 2 Division 1 after eight matches. 

The summer arrival praised the calibre of opposition that Albion defeated at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre, giving the Portuguese giants high praise.

“We had to defend well, and I think we did that – the team ran as much as they could all over the pitch and the likes of Aaron [Connolly] and Viktor [Gyokeres] pressing from the front helped us a lot. 

“Benfica put us under pressure a lot, but we kept our shape well and in the second half we saw out some tough moments.

“They’re one of the most powerful academies in the world and they’ve developed many good players, so individually we knew they’d test us. 

“When they get on the ball they can switch it quickly, but we were really organized and kept it comfortable.” 

Having featured for Hughton’s side in the opening day defeat at Vicarage Road, Bernardo was then introduced into the action at St James’ Park against Newcastle United at the weekend during the side’s 1-0 win – and he insisted that he feels both ready and prepared to figure for the team.  

“It’s been a bit stop start for me so far, so it was good to get into the match rhythm this evening. Since Watford I haven’t had that many minutes – that was a tough day for both me and the team.

“I played 20 minutes at the weekend, but I know I need to be prepared when the opportunity comes – the game was a difficult one at the end because we held on for the victory. 

“The manager brought me on because he trusted me to defend and help the side keep a clean sheet – the whole side did well, and we deserved the three points – it was probably my best moment with the team so far.”


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