Brighton & Hove Albion defender Shane Duffy encouraged his team-mates to do everything possible to make the club proud this weekend, regardless of the role they can play in the fight for the Premier League title.
The Seagulls host Manchester City at the Amex Stadium tomorrow afternoon, with Liverpool hoping Chris Hughton’s side can prevent the league leaders from securing the victory needed to win the league.
Duffy believes the team must ignore the Premier League title race, and instead channel their focus on achieving a positive performance and result in their final match of the season against Pep Guardiola’s team.
He said, “Everyone knows that it’s a massive game, but we can’t really think about anything else other than getting the three points for this club — that’s the most important thing for us.
“We’ll be throwing our bodies in the way, trying to keep the ball out of our net. It will be a team effort if we are to win the game and 90 minutes of concentration is required.
“We’re the underdogs and all of the players are excited for the game. It’s down to us, we want to do this club proud and win these three points. It would be a historic day if we do.
“Our fans have been there for us all season, so we want to turn up for them and hopefully give them a good day to remember.”
Sunday’s visitors sealed a 2-0 win over Albion at the Etihad when the sides met in the Premier League earlier this season, before a 1-0 victory at Wembley Stadium in the Emirates FA Cup semi-finals.
City have been in exceptional league form, winning 13 matches in a row, and Duffy acknowledges the fact that Albion will need to perform out of their skin to upset the odds on the south coast.
“They’ve dealt with pressure all season and probably ten games ago people wouldn’t have said they’d win every game, but they have.
“They’re world-class players who handle pressure on a weekly basis — it’s a huge game and they can’t really make mistakes, because there are no games after.
“It will be constant pressure — it’s a very difficult game and as players you just hope it doesn’t really come off for them and everything happens for us.
“We’ll have to defend very well again and try to be hard to break down. Hopefully we can then create chances and take them on the day.”
Albion captain Bruno confirmed on Friday afternoon that Sunday’s match would be the last of his illustrious career, and Duffy paid tribute to the Spaniard for his impact and guidance during their time together in Sussex.
“It’s been amazing playing with Bruno since I came here. I’ve learned so much off him as both a man and football player. He’s going to be hugely missed.
“I can only thank him for what he’s done for me both on and off the pitch. You don’t get many people like him in football.
“I’m sure we’ll replace him with another player, but you won’t replace the man that he is. He’s been such a big leader, but I’m sure that if we ever need him, he’ll be on the phone with advice.
“If we can take anything from what he’s done in his career, then that would help all of us.”