Brighton & Hove Albion goalkeeper Maty Ryan is looking to create more positive memories in his trip to St James’ Park on Saturday, as the Seagulls return to Premier League action against Newcastle United.
Ryan made a couple of fine saves during last season’s contest on Tyneside to ensure Albion took home a share of the spoils in a goalless draw, and the Australian is looking forward to testing himself at St James’ Park once again.
He said, “It’s a great atmosphere up there, and it's a great arena to play football.
“We managed to take four points off them last season with a draw away and a win at home, so we can go up there with some confidence.
“I was happy to make a couple of saves and keep a clean sheet in the game up there, and I enjoyed the challenge. Even though we couldn’t get the winner, I thoroughly enjoyed the match.”
The Seagulls shot-stopper reflected on the 1-0 win over West Ham United before the international break, which saw the side keep their first clean sheet of the season, but Ryan explained how their defensive performances have gradually improved in recent weeks.
“It had been a long time coming. We had some tough fixtures and it was good to finally get that clean sheet, but the progress was there leading up to it.
“You saw that from our defensively-disciplined display against Manchester City. They hit us on two counter-attacks where we weren’t able to get the defensive block set and in place.
“A team like Manchester City is able to punish you, but we rolled that onto the following week against West Ham, where we were able to stay strong during the match and they weren’t able to break us down.
“If you don’t concede, you’re halfway towards winning the game. The worst-possible scenario is a draw, but Glenn [Murray] scored and thankfully we got the win and clean sheet.”
Ryan also paid tribute to Seagulls skipper Bruno, who turned 38 at the start of the month, and praised the Spaniard’s exemplary attitude both on and off the pitch.
“He brings this sense of calmness to the side, and you see that when he comes into the team. He has a good presence and brings a sense of tranquillity in his performances.
“He’s the ultimate professional and takes care of himself very well, in terms of what he eats and his preparation for games.
“He seems to have that balance in order and it all contributes to his performances.”