Brighton & Hove Albion under-23 forward Viktor Gyokeres highlighted the confident mood amongst the side ahead of tomorrow night's Premier League International Cup debut against Everton.
The Seagulls play their first game in the competition on Thursday evening, before meeting European giants Benfica and Bayern Munich in their remaining group matches, and Gyokeres believes the tournament will provide the squad with beneficial experience.
He said, “I haven't played in this cup before, so it’s new for me. It’s great that we’ll be playing against teams from across Europe and not just England.
“We’re going to play against Benfica and Bayern Munich - those matches will be enjoyable. It’s good experience for us to play against teams from various countries.
“There’s been a positive mood throughout the week and we’ve had some good training sessions ahead of the game.
“It’s good to have a positive week before the match. You have to prepare in the right way to be completely ready for kick off.”
Gyokeres has fired three goals for Simon Rusk’s team after five league matches, and the Swede believes the team are being worked harder every game as they go in search of maximum points tomorrow night.
“I’ve enjoyed the season so far. It was a nice pre-season and we’ve started the season well. We’ve had two wins and three draws, so it’s looking good at the moment.
“It feels like it’s harder to take three points this season. But we’re a strong team and we have some new players. It’s only going to get better from this stage.
“There is a lot more defensive work and the teams we’re playing against are better than last season. We’re having to work that bit harder in every single match.”
The 20-year-old made his first-team debut in the Carabao Cup last month, and he reflected on the experience of playing against Southampton, while also training with Chris Hughton’s squad.
“It was great to play for the first team and I enjoyed it. I was looking forward to it and hoped the time would come. It was sad that we lost the game but still nice to be out there playing.
“You get more experience training with the first team, as it’s obviously another level to the under-23s. You want to be there one day. I just have to work hard and hope that day will come.
“They’ve trained for much longer than us, so the intensity is better and they bring players in from all over the world. It’s great to have the opportunity to train with them.”