Brighton & Hove Albion defender Bernardo accepted the importance of this afternoon’s match against AFC Bournemouth at the Amex Stadium, as the Seagulls go in search of three points to move further clear of the Premier League relegation zone.
Chris Hughton’s team have seven top-flight matches remaining, meaning a possible 21 points are up for grabs before the end of the season, starting with Bournemouth’s visit and ending with Manchester City’s arrival next month.
With Huddersfield Town and Fulham already relegated to the Sky Bet Championship, just one place remains open in the relegation zone, and Bernardo is fully focused on achieving the results required to secure a third season in the Premier League.
He said, “We’re at a point of the competition where we need to get points. It doesn’t matter who the opponents are, every single game is really important.
“At this moment, Bournemouth is the most important match. We’re really focused on getting points, because it can make our lives much easier and give us comfort for the end of the season.
“They’re a really intense team that play good football, they have good individual players, but every single team in England is competitive. There are no weak opponents.
“Look at where they are in the table, it shows that they’re very consistent and a good team. It will be a difficult match, but we really need these points and we’ll do our best to get them.”
The Cherries arrive on the south coast after back-to-back defeats against Leicester City and Burnley, but Bernardo looked past their recent results and highlighted the quality of Eddie Howe’s 13th-placed team.
“They’re really good players and very skilled, so for us it’s more difficult to face players like them compared to players who are more technical and just pass the ball.
“They’re fast, aggressive and like one-v-one situations, but it’s the responsibility of the whole defensive system to stop them.
“Sometimes it’s not the best strategy for me to mark really tight, because they’re a very smart team and can open up spaces behind my back.
“It’s something that has been studied, but for sure we’re trying to adjust from what we did wrong in the last match, so we can do a better job on Saturday.”