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SIDWELL: IT'S A FREE HIT

4 April 2019

Paul Hazlewood
Steve Sidwell

Former Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder and current academy coach Steve Sidwell says the side have nothing to lose in Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City, and says organisation will be key in overcoming Pep Guardiola’s side.

Sidwell admits that although it would have been preferable to avoid City in the last four, he encouraged Albion to use Wigan’s FA Cup Final victory in 2013 as an example of what can be achieved.

He said, “You’d love to have missed them, but this game is essentially a free hit because there’s no pressure on us and no-one is expecting us to win.

“You’ve got to go back to the Wigan game when they beat them in the FA Cup Final and try to take inspiration from that.

“At the same time, you’ve got to keep them at bay and not expect to go to Wembley and try to play them at their own game by passing them off the pitch.

“You’ve got to defend well, stay strong as a unit, have a bit of luck on your side and hopefully take your chances.”

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The former Seagulls midfielder also spoke about the best ways to counter City’s threats, and says Albion can take confidence from their recent performances against the Premier League champions.

“In the build up to the game, you want to work on trying to stop them in their key areas, which are all over the park.

“It’s going to be a tough afternoon. When you get the ball in possession, you want to use it well. You could even go back to our first game in the Premier League against them last season.

“We did ever so well up until the last 15 or 20 minutes and we can take inspiration from it. It’s an FA Cup semi-final, people might not ever get to that again.

“It will be a good day for the players’ families and the main thing for them is to enjoy it, so go out there and give it your all.”


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