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STEPHENS: CARDIFF IS MASSIVE

14 April 2019

Paul Hazlewood
Dale Stephens in action against AFC Bournemouth.

Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Dale Stephens says the team have switched their focus to Tuesday night's game against Cardiff City following a disappointing 5-0 home loss to Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon.

Albion reside in 17th, five points clear of Cardiff, and face the Bluebirds at the Amex in midweek, looking to bounce back with a win.

He said, “We don’t use excuses. We’ve prided ourselves on hard work and preparation for two years in the Premier League, but this was nowhere near it.

"But, look, we move on and we've got a game on Tuesday, and what a massive game it is. We're in a position where it's still in our hands, we can still do something about it, which is a fortunate position to be in.

“The game against Cardiff was massive whatever the outcome against Bournemouth. Obviously, a result would have lifted the pressure slightly but we’ve got to stand up and be counted.”

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The Seagulls headed into the Cherries clash off the back of a valiant display in the FA Cup semi-final loss to Manchester City, but were not able to replicate that level of performance.

"It was a very, very off day for us. It's not like us to concede so many goals at home. We didn't build on our decent performance against Manchester City.

"We knew the way Bournemouth were going to set up. We knew they'd be dangerous on the counter-attack. That's the way they score most of their goals and that was the difference between the two teams.

"They've come here and put in one of their best performances of the season. We didn't help ourselves, especially going down to ten men. You're chasing a game and when a team is strong on the counter-attack, you put yourself in a position to be broke on."

43 Stephens.jpg

Anthony Knockaert saw red in the 68th minute for a sliding challenge on Adam Smith with the score at 0-2, but Stephens insists the incident has been quickly forgotten.

"Whether it’s a red card or not, the referee’s made a decision and he’s put himself in that position where he’s allowed the referee to [send him off]. He’s disappointed.

"We need our best players on the pitch and he’s one of them. He’s apologised. We were getting beaten at the time, frustrations were high and he’ll make sure he won’t do it again."


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