Brighton & Hove Albion's under-23 coach Simon Rusk says that the side will head into tonight's Checkatrade Trophy game away to Luton Town full of confidence following Friday’s 5-0 win over Manchester City.
The Seagulls inflicted a first defeat of the campaign on the Citizens at the Broadfield Stadium in fine style, and Rusk emphasised that Albion would be well-prepared for this evening despite having individuals away on international duty.
He said, “It’s a tough game away from home but we’ll bounce into it after how we did on Friday night against Manchester City.
“We’ll be without quite a few players due to international duty, so we’ll be a young squad – but it’s a great challenge for us.
“In the games against the senior sides last season in the competition we were a little light, but we put in a good account of ourselves and we’ll be aiming to do the same again this year, starting against Luton Town.”
The trio of Ben Barclay, Will Collar and Viktor Gyokeres all featured for Chris Hughton’s side in the Carabao Cup game with Southampton at the Amex Stadium a week ago.
The coach was keen to highlight that the inclusion of the players was down to the group’s start to the Premier League 2 Division 1 campaign as a whole after being unbeaten in their first four matches of the campaign.
“We’ve had players involved with the first team set-up recently and I actually think that it’s a reflection of how the group has performed overall.
“Three made their debuts last week against Southampton and all the players need them to keep doing that, because it will push the squad on.
“The better the under-23s are playing then the better chance players will have of making that breakthrough to the first-team squad.”
The coach reflected positively on the exploits of the three players against Mark Hughes’s men, and paid tribute to all of his players ahead of tonight’s game in Bedfordshire.
“It’s great the three got the chance, but I believe it’s an accumulation of a lot of good teamwork from the players as a whole.
“Sometimes an opportunity will arise through somebody else’s misfortune or injury and absence, but you also need your teammates around you to be doing well in order to take advantage of that chance.
“I thought the boys went in and gave a really good account of themselves last week, and that’s testament to how well the group have done recently.”
Albion fans can buy tickets on the gate tonight at Kenilworth Road, priced at £5 for adults/concessions and £1 for under-16s - unreserved seating will be in place.