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Club News


14 January 2019

Kieran Cleeves
Albion under-23 coach Simon Rusk.

Brighton & Hove Albion under-23 coach Simon Rusk praised his players for showing the patience required to bide their time and break down Liverpool on Monday evening, as the Seagulls came from behind to secure a point.

Haydon Roberts headed home an 87th-minute equaliser to make it 1-1 at the Liverpool Academy, and Rusk took pleasure from the point secured, despite the hosts playing for over an hour with ten men.

He said, “No matter the circumstances, you can never be disappointed with a point away at Liverpool. They’re a talented team with some really creative individuals that play some good football.

“Although they went down to ten men, I thought to come back and get something out of the game was a credit to the players.

“It’s never straight forward playing against ten men — it’s not a case of automatically going on to win the game.

“Fair play to Liverpool, they did well with the deficit, but we did enough in the game and caused enough problems to deserve something out of it.

“Credit to the lads for their mentality — they showed the patience to keep going. We rode our luck once or twice, but you’re always going to ride your luck against good players.”

The Seagulls extended their unbeaten run to three matches in the Premier League 2 Division 1, and Rusk spoke further about his team’s hard-earned result, which followed a 2-2 draw against Arsenal last week.

“I don’t think we were at our best, but we had a young team — there are four or five under-18s in and around the group, and that’s a good thing.

“Liverpool made it hard, got numbers behind the ball and defended their box fairly well, but it was a wonderful ball from Alex Cochrane and a well-timed run and header from Haydon.

“There’s a long way to go still, but for a promoted side coming into the division, with a few injuries and players going out on loan, we’ve had some encouraging results.

“To maintain the standards over the last two games against Arsenal and Liverpool — two good teams in our division — I think we have to take the positives from that.”

Rusk then reflected on his team’s results over the past year, and gave his players credit for making themselves hard to beat, as they currently sit fourth in the top flight of under-23 football.

“In the last 12 months we’ve never been beaten by more than one goal, and that’s down to the resilience of the players on the pitch.

“The signs were there against Liverpool that we’ve still got that resilient edge, even though one or two of the younger players have come up from the under-18s into the under-23s.

“Over the next couple of weeks we’ll try to improve the things we want to do on the ball and still remain hard to beat.”

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