Brighton & Hove Albion defender Lewis Dunk insists the focus must now switch to upcoming Premier League matches against Southampton and Chelsea, ahead of the club’s Emirates FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City.
The Seagulls welcome the Saints and visit Stamford Bridge before next month’s trip to Wembley Stadium, and Dunk stressed the importance of doing everything possible to edge closer to Premier League safety.
He said, “The main priority is staying in the Premier League. We’ve got a great opportunity going to Wembley in the semi-final of the FA Cup, but that really doesn’t matter at the moment.
“When that match comes around, of course we’ll focus on that, but we’ve got two Premier League games up next.
“Once the boys get back from international duty, we’ll make sure we’re working hard and preparing in the right way. Any game coming up is the biggest game of the season because we need to win.
“Southampton are a team around us at the moment, and if we beat them at the weekend it would be a massive step away from where we don’t want to be.”
Albion went into the international break after back-to-back Premier League victories over Huddersfield Town and Crystal Palace
The penalty shootout victory over Millwall followed back-to-back Premier League wins against Huddersfield Town and Crystal Palace, but Chris Hughton’s side then split for the international break.
Dunk admitted he would have preferred another match instead of the break, but also took away the positives, as the Seagulls regroup for the remaining nine matches of the Premier League season.
“They’re probably two of the craziest away games that I’ve experienced at this club. Personally, I would have preferred to carry on because of the momentum you get after three wins.
“Momentum in football is massive, but I’m sure the break has been useful as well, it’s given everyone a chance to calm down, and now we can fully focus on the games ahead.
“There’s always going to be pressure until you’re mathematically safe, but it would be nice to go into the semi-final looking behind us a little less in the Premier League.”