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Club News


19 February 2019

Paul Hazlewood
Albion defender Lewis Dunk.

After Brighton & Hove Albion drew Millwall at The Den in last night’s Emirates FA Cup quarter-final draw, defender Lewis Dunk identified this season as the club’s best opportunity for many years to go all the way in the illustrious competition.

The Seagulls will travel to their Sky Bet Championship opponents in the last eight next month, knowing the winner will secure their place in an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley Stadium in April.

Albion exited the competition in the quarter-finals against Manchester United last season, but Dunk believes the current campaign offers a better chance of reaching the final for the second time in the club’s history.

He said, “You watch the FA Cup as a kid and dream about playing in a semi-final or final! We’ve probably got the best chance we’ll have for many years to come. It’s certainly the best chance so far in my career.

“It’s such a big game — one game away from an FA Cup semi-final. Both teams will fancy themselves — I’m sure we’ll take a good following to The Den and it should be a great game and atmosphere.

“I’ve only played there once — I was on the bench or suspended for the other three games. You can get a hostile reception from the fans, but you have to make sure you do the talking on the pitch.

“Everyone knows The Den isn’t the easiest of places to go to, but hopefully we can make it as comfortable as possible.”

As it stands, 26 places separate the Seagulls from the Lions in the football pyramid, but Dunk stressed the importance of approaching next month’s quarter-final with the right mentality.

“It would have been nice to get a home draw, but we’ve got one game against Millwall to get to an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.

“We’ve got to go into it with the right attitude, and then you never know, we could end up at Wembley twice, not just once.

“Especially in the FA Cup, if you don’t go into the match with the right mentality, you’re there to be taken for an upset.

“We’re not there for an upset, we want to make sure we do things properly and put in the performance needed to win.”

Manchester United and Manchester City are the only top-six Premier League clubs remaining in the competition, and Dunk admitted he’d rather avoid them if Albion progress to the final four, with his favourable option being a date against Crystal Palace.

“The two Manchester clubs are still in the competition, and obviously you have to play them at some point, but hopefully that could be in the final.

“The teams that are left in the competition are great sides, and no matter who you play, if you want to get through to the final you have to make sure you win your games.

“It would be nice to get a Brighton-Palace semi-final wouldn’t it? A packed out Wembley — that would be a great day!”

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