Brighton & Hove Albion defender Bernardo spoke about how adapting to the club's style of play has taken him some time since making the switch to English football in the summer.
The former RB Leipzig man made the switch to Albion in early July from Germany’s top tier, and he discussed the differences in style of play between the two clubs.
He said, “The way we play here at Brighton is very different to my previous club in Germany.
“In Leipzig we used to rely on the speed of the front players, and so we pressed all the time with a high line.
“We’d try to put the ball in behind and then try to press from there as a team – here’s it’s a more controlled game for Brighton and we try to keep possession in a more organised way.
“It’s more of a clever style here because you drop back and then shuffle across, it’s a different way and an almost opposite way to play – sometimes my instinct tries to take me to press because it’s natural – but then I have to tell myself what we want to do here.
“It’s about reeducating myself about the game to fit in with how we do things here.”
The Brazilian’s versatility across the back four and beyond has been well documented since his move to Albion during the off season, and he spoke about his history in various positions across the field during his career so far.
“In Brazil I was a midfielder to begin with and then a coach came to me and said I was good, but if I wanted to become a professional football player, then I would be better off becoming a defender.
“I trusted him and played at the back until I arrived at Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, then I played in defensive midfield again whilst I was there.
“When I moved to RB Leipzig, I was mainly used as a right-back and then a left-back, but I consider my favourite position to be in the middle of the defence.
“In England it’s a very physical game in central defence – maybe in Brazil or Spain I could play as a central defender, but probably not here in England because of the size of the defenders.”
Bernardo made his debut in English football on the first day of the Premier League season against Watford at Vicarage Road, before following that up with a stint on the field during Saturday’s 1-0 win over Newcastle United at St James’ Park, and he reflected on where he believes he can improve.
“Since I arrived here I feel like I’ve progressed and adapted, the pre-season was good for me and I was confident, but the game against Watford was a bit of a shock and very different to what I had in Germany.
“I have the impression that I need matches to get used to the game in this country – the players here are cleverer. There are many actions before tackles and I wasn’t used to that so it’s about getting smarter for me.”