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Club News


8 January 2019

Paul Hazlewood
Albion under-23 coach Simon Rusk looks down the line at The People's Pension Stadium.

Brighton & Hove Albion under-23 coach Simon Rusk admitted he was left slightly disappointed by Arsenal's late leveller in last night’s 2-2 draw, but accepted a point was probably deserved by both sides.

The Seagulls overturned Arsenal’s first-half lead thanks to Anders Dreyer’s brace after the break, but Trae Coyle struck in the closing stages to secure a share of the spoils for the north Londoners.

Rusk was pleased with his team’s improved second-half display and highlighted the positives making a handful of changes to the side that beat West Ham United last month.

He said, “I thought we were a little too passive in the first half and you can’t be like that against good players. We made it a little bit too comfortable for Arsenal at times.

“We went in 1-0 down at half-time and I don’t think we could complain too much about that scoreline.

“It was almost a new team in many respects, so we knew there was going to be a little bit of uncertainty in some areas.

“But we showed great character in the second half — we had more energy and more belief in what we were doing, so there were lots of positives to take from the game.

“I’m disappointed not to get the win, but over the balance of the whole game, perhaps a draw was a fair result.”

Albion were minutes away from securing their seventh league win of the season, but Coyle’s 85th-minute goal restored parity to the scoreline and Rusk spoke further about the entertaining contest at The People’s Pension Stadium.

“When you turn things around and go 2-1 up against Arsenal, you want to see the game through and get the three points on the board.

“But it wasn’t to be, and from their point of view, they’ll be pleased with the way they got back into it.

“After being 1-0 down at half-time, having not played our best, to come out, perform well and get something from the game against a good Arsenal team — we have to take the positives from that.”

Dreyer scored his third and fourth goals of the season against the Gunners, and Rusk was delighted for the Danish winger, who notably scored a stunning individual goal to put the Seagulls ahead.

“I’m really pleased for Anders, he’s very hard working and I don’t think he’s had the rub of the green in front of goal since he came in.

“I’m really pleased for him to get the reward with his two goals. He was unfortunate to not get another one, which probably would have sealed the game.

“I think it comes as a timely boost for Anders — the individual goal was a really special goal and I’m sure it’s one he’ll be very pleased with.”

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