Brighton & Hove Albion defender Shane Duffy says the side will be looking to start today’s game with AFC Bournemouth at the Amex Stadium in the ascendancy.
The Seagulls entertain the Cherries on the south coast this afternoon looking to bounce back from last weekend’s Emirates FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City, and the Irishman knows a strong start to the contest from the home side could be vital.
He said, “Starting well is always important, and as the hosts we’ll be looking to begin on the front foot.
“Our last league game at home [against Southampton] was a bad day for us - we weren’t good enough and we have to learn from that and move on.
“This weekend we’ll try to get at them from the start and get the fans behind us early on, a goal would settle everyone down – but you can’t win the game in the first ten minutes, you have to use your head.
“We know it will be tough because they’re a good side, but it’s another challenge we’re all looking forward to.”
Chris Hughton’s side currently occupy 16th position in the top flight ahead of today’s game, and Duffy believes the team have to relish the challenge that the seven remaining league matches will bring.
“There’s no nerves, you have to take it in your stride because this is where we are at this moment in time,” he continued.
“We still have seven games left and lots of points to play for and if we play to our strengths we know we more than belong here.
“We’re confident and so is the manager, hopefully that shows on Saturday afternoon.”
The central defender also reflected on the dynamics of the division ahead of the match with Eddie Howe’s men, and believes the levels of the league have risen compared to last term, making it a tougher challenge in the process.
“The league is tougher this year and the gap between the top six and everyone else has got bigger, it’s a lot more difficult to beat those sides this year compared to in previous seasons.
“Anyone can beat anyone outside of that and it’s very unpredictable.
“But I love it and it’s great to be a part of, it’s the best league in the world and hopefully we can continue building in it for many years to come, because that's where this club wants to go."