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DUNK: I TOOK ONE FOR THE TEAM

4 February 2019

Paul Hazlewood
Lewis Dunk in action on Saturday at the Amex Stadium.

Brighton & Hove Albion defender Lewis Dunk stressed that his heroic second half block in Saturday’s draw with Watford at the Amex Stadium was an act he was happy to do for the side.

The centre half denied Andre Gray from inside the area during the last ten minutes of an even contest on the south coast with an improvised combination of head and body, but insisted it was all part of helping the team gain another top-flight point.

He said, “You’ve just got to stop it going in the goal haven’t you and take one for the team. Luckily he didn’t kick the ball, otherwise my head might have flown off!

“You’ve just got to put your body on the line and that’s what we pride ourselves on – making sure we keep a clean sheet. If I have to do that every week, I’ll do it and I know the boys next to me will do the same.

“Straight after I thought, 'I was lucky there'. I even said to him, 'thanks for not kicking it!' At the time you just stick your head there, you don’t want it to go in the goal - that’s the aim of the game, whatever it takes, you do.”

The Seagulls created a number of openings against Javi Gracia’s men at the Amex, but were denied by an impressive display from visiting goalkeeper Ben Foster – Dunk still believes the performance was the best way to respond from last week’s defeat to Fulham at Craven Cottage.

“That’s the reaction we needed because we deserved to win. I thought we defended very well, they only had one shot, which hit the side netting right at the end.

“We’ve got to take our chances, it was a great reaction because our second half performance against Fulham was our worst half in a long time.

“We showed today [Saturday] that we’re a good team and on another day, we’d win this game by three or four. We’ve just got to keep playing like that and if we do until the end of the season, we’ll be more than comfortable.”

Next on the agenda for Chris Hughton’s side is an Emirates FA Cup fourth round replay away to West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday evening, before the team host Burnley at the Amex Stadium back in Premier League action on Saturday.

The academy product emphasised that he wanted to play his part in both contests this week, citing progress in the cup as well as another good performance in the league.

“Our focus is Wednesday because we want to go through the cup and move onto the next round. A lot of Premier League teams have gone out, so we’ve got a chance of having a good run in the FA Cup - that’s our aim.

“After that we’ve got Burnley back at home and it’s going to be another tough game, but if we perform like that [against Watford] I’m sure we’ll pull through.

“I want to play every game, you’re a footballer for a reason. You don’t train all week to not play and I want to be out there every week helping the team and doing the best I can. If I’m on that team sheet [on Wednesday] I’ll do my all to get through to the next round.”


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