Brighton & Hove Albion under-23 defender Alex Cochrane paid tribute to the development of the group following Monday evening’s 2-1 win over Derby County in Premier League 2 Division 1.
First-half goals from Bojan Radulovic and Soufyan Ahannach were enough to give Simon Rusk’s team a victory that keeps them in second place in the division, and Cochrane highlighted the impressive nature of the campaign so far, given the faces that have departed the group on loan.
He said, “We’ve lost a lot of the group from last season out on loan this term, but the players who’ve entered the set-up have really stepped up to the plate and pushed us on.
“Bojan [Radulovic] scored again today, Soufyan [Ahannach] came back and done well and we’ve got the likes of Jayson [Molumby] returning from injury and playing his part now too.
“People are delivering, players are stepping up the plate from the under-18 group and we’re in good form.”
The win was the team’s third league success in a row following victories of Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, stretching the side’s unbeaten league run to six matches in the process.
“I thought we did well in the first half – we were clinical and could have been ahead by more, and I was happy with my assist for the second goal too,” the defender continued.
“After the break we weren’t at our best, but we ground out the win and it’s another important result for us.
“The team spirit is really good here and it’s been one of the big factors in our success so far, we’ve been working for one another every week, the feel of the changing room is good and at the moment we feel as though we’re doing really well.”
Having seen the trio of Viktor Gyokeres, Jayson Molumby and Leo Ostigard given a spot in the first-team set-up in recent weeks, the full-back also reflected on the senior opportunities available to the group.
“There’s a pathway here into the first team set-up and it’s really encouraging for the whole group.
“We’ve had three players involved in recent weeks and Viktor’s been coming on from the bench too which shows there’s an opportunity here.
“We get the chance to train with the group often too, and you have to be able to grasp those openings when you get them.”