Former Brighton & Hove Albion defender Stephen Ward believes that this afternoon’s game between the Seagulls and Burnley at the Amex Stadium will be a closely-run affair.
The Republic of Ireland international plied his trade for Oscar Garcia’s men during the 2013/14 campaign and made 47 appearances before making the switch to Turf Moor, and he previewed today’s clash on the south coast between two sides he knows well.
He said, “It’s going to be an interesting one – it’s a tough place to go and every game between the teams have been quite tight in recent seasons.
“Both squads are similar, Brighton have had a good start to the season – but we’ve hit a good run of form ourselves and we’ll be heading down feeling confident.
“But Brighton will be saying the same and they’ll be looking to get back on track, it will be tough, but we’ll be coming down on the back of some good results in recent weeks. We’ve got some good points on the board in recent weeks and we’re looking to build on that.”
Sean Dyche’s side make the trip south having enjoyed a resurgent start to the calendar year following a difficult opening to the season, and Ward emphasised the importance of maintaining those levels this afternoon against his former club.
“Momentum is key, but our manager always says to us that the game can change so quickly.
“The matches come thick and fast in this division and whether you’re on a winning streak or a losing streak you have to be on your game.
“We have to make sure we’re prepared right and recognise that Brighton will have earmarked this game as one that they can win in front of their home supporters.”
Ward will also be reunited with international team-mate Shane Duffy this afternoon. He stressed that the successful partnership of his fellow Irishman and former team-mate Lewis Dunk has been key to the fortunes of Chris Hughton’s men during their time in the top flight so far.
“Shane’s someone I know well from international football and it will be good to see him again – he’s a great lad.
“He’s done brilliantly since he joined Brighton and him and Lewis have been one of the main reasons why Brighton have done so well.
“They’re difficult to play against and our front lads know they’ll be in for a game, but I’m sure they’ll be looking forward to the challenge.”
Tickets for today’s game remain on general sale.
Supporters can secure their tickets on BrightonAndHoveAlbion.com/Tickets and via the Albion Booking Line at 0844 327 1901*.
There is a £1.50 per ticket booking fee for in person and telephone sales, while a charge of £1 per ticket applies to online purchases.
Seagull Travel will be running a coach to the fixture with a number of pick-up points across East and West Sussex. A full list of pick-up locations and bookings for all upcoming games can be found here, along with prices.
*Calls to the Albion Booking Line are charged at seven pence per minute plus your network access charge.