Brighton & Hove Albion under-23 defender Alex Cochrane reflected on his positive start to the Premier League 2 Division 1 season, which has seen the 18-year-old help the Seagulls to an impressive start.
Cochrane has made five appearances for Simon Rusk’s team, including two clean-sheet performances against Liverpool and Manchester City, as well as the narrow Checkatrade Trophy defeat against Luton Town.
The Albion full-back had a brief taste of under-23 football last season - but since making the permanent switch over recent months, Cochrane has been delighted with the opening weeks of the campaign.
He said, “It’s been a good start for me, I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. The lads have helped with the process of moving from under-18 to under-23 football.
“I was in and out of the under-23s last season, and didn’t get too much game time, but that experience prepared me and I expected the difference in levels.
“Stepping up from the under-18s, you do see a big difference. The players are a lot stronger and faster - you have to be so much sharper.
“My concentration levels have had to go up - you have to remain focused for the whole 90 minutes. If you’re not focused for a split second, the players in this league can punish you so quickly.
“Overall, I’ve been very pleased with my performances and think I’ve done well so far, but there’s still a long season ahead.”
The Seagulls have taken six points from games against Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City, and Cochrane highlighted the team’s work ethic in preparation for their debut season in the top flight.
“We always knew every game in this league would be a hard game. When we saw the first four games, we felt it was a chance to go and show what we can do.
“Credit to the players and staff, every day we’re giving 100 per cent in training. We’re not cruising along, we’re give our all every time we step on the pitch. We’re happy to play for each other and the manager.
“If you have a bad session, that can lead into the game on the weekend. But we’re pushing hard in every single training session to keep the levels up.”
Albion return to Premier League 2 action against West Ham United at the Amex Stadium on Friday evening (7pm), and although Cochrane recognised the benefits of having a break, he expressed his desire to get back up and running.
“It’s always nice to have a little break. Some of the boys went home to spend time with their families, which I know they enjoyed a lot. It was a good break for the team.
“But we’re looking forward to getting back to the Amex on Friday. We can’t wait to get out there, we’re loving the football at the moment and want to continue our run.”
All Under 23s home Premier League 2 games are free of charge to all Season Ticket Holders.
Tickets can be issued as Print at Home tickets (avoiding the booking fee), posted, or collected from the stadium (booking fee applies for post & collect).
All tickets will be located in the West Lower stand, with unreserved seating. (tickets will not be loaded to season cards).
Tickets for Non-Season Ticket Holders are priced as follows:
Under 16 £2.00
Tickets are now available at seagullstickets.com and via the Albion Booking Line on 0844 327 1901.