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Club News


30 January 2019

Paul Hazlewood
Simon Rusk watches the game against Bayern Munich from the sideline.

Brighton & Hove Albion under-23 coach Simon Rusk took the positives from tonight’s 2-0 defeat to Bayern Munich, and felt his players almost did enough to book their place in the knockout stages of the Premier League International Cup.

The Seagulls needed a point to make the quarter-finals of the competition, but two second-half goals won the match for the German giants, and Rusk put the tight contest into perspective.

He said, “We were playing Bayern Munich and they’re going to be efficient and good at what they do. I thought their game management was good tonight.

“We’re obviously disappointed to lose the game, in particular with a lapse in concentration from a corner. But listen, I think we caused them problems tonight.

“On the balance of the whole game, we’ve probably had enough chances to deserve something out of it. In the end, it just hasn’t gone our way really.

“Credit to them, they earned their bit of luck. I’m pleased with large aspects, especially considering we had a fairly young team out tonight that hasn’t had too much time on the training pitch.

“We were very competitive against one of the biggest sides in the world, so we have to take the positives from that.”

Four under-18 players — Haydon Roberts, Peter Gwargis, Ryan Longman and Danny Cashman — were named in the starting line-up for the Seagulls, and Rusk commented on their recent involvement in the squad.

“They’ve come in over the last couple of games and worked hard. There’s been some really positive moments.

“It’s definitely a step up in speed of thought and they’ll have to deliver on that. There’s also that element of physicality in the under-23s, that quite naturally isn’t there in all under-18 games.

“Danny wasn’t far away from getting a really important goal for us tonight. Ryan Longman was unfortunate with his shot in the first half, where he came inside.

“Peter Gwargis is still only an under-18, Haydon Roberts as well — we’re a young group at the minute and it’s up to the players to deliver on those performance levels if they want to stay in and around it.”

Albion now turn their attention to Sunday’s home match against Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League 2 Division 1, and Rusk was quick to switch his team’s focus after finishing second in Group D.

“We’ve now got to go again, it’s part and parcel of football. The players have got to learn; it’s a disappointing result and we’re disappointed to go out, but we need to move on to the next one.

“We can learn from this game against Bayern Munich, be positive and work towards a good performance against Tottenham on Sunday.”

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