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Club News


30 January 2019

Paul Hazlewood
Dale Stephens.

Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Dale Stephens admitted the team were punished for not doing the basics well enough against Fulham, but stressed the importance of quickly switching the focus to Watford’s visit to the Amex Stadium on Saturday.

The Seagulls allowed a 2-0 lead to slip at Craven Cottage last night, as Fulham scored four goals after the break to seal a 4-2 victory and close the gap between themselves and Albion to nine points.

Stephens was honest about his team’s below-par performance in the second half, and felt the hosts took full advantage of Albion’s uncharacteristic change in levels after mounting a healthy lead.

He said, “It thought we played well in the first half and deserved our lead at half-time. But we then went away from what we were doing in the first half.

“They’ve got a lot of quality in their team and they showed it after the break. It was all our own undoing in the end.

“It was the basic stuff, having a higher line, keeping the ball — everything we did in the first half to get the lead.

“When you go away from doing those things, especially away from home, you’re going to get punished.”

Stephens felt Fulham frontman Aleksander Mitrovic used Lewis Dunk to climb for his second goal of the evening, but was quick to point out that his team-mates take full responsibility for their dip in performance.

“Mitrovic jumped on Dunky’s back for the third goal, sometimes you get them and sometimes you don’t, but overall we’re disappointed with what we’ve produced in the second half, rather than blaming anyone else.

“Taking a two-goal lead in at half-time is what you want away from home, but everyone is disappointed with how we defended and how we conceded goals in the second half.

“We’ve got some tough games coming up, some important games, and we’ve now got to move on from this one and fully focus on Watford at the weekend.”

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