De Zerbi delighted to make Albion fans happy

Head coach reflects on Saturday's 2-1 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

By Bruce Talbot • 15 April 2023

By Paul Hazlewood
Roberto De Zerbi says Albion fans can play a massive part at the Amex today.

Roberto De Zerbi was delighted to bring happiness to Albion’s fans after his side came from behind to win 2-1 at Chelsea.

Goals from two substitutes – Danny Welbeck and Julio Enciso – earned Albion their first win at Stamford Bridge as they completed a Premier League double over Chelsea to stay seventh in the table and in contention for Europe.

The Italian said, “I’m delighted with the result and the performance. I liked the quality of our play – I’m honestly lucky to be the coach of these players.

“I am happy because we made our fans and club happy, but for me I am already starting to think about the semi-final. Football is about tomorrow, if you are too happy too much for the past [result] you can’t work in football.”

Enciso won the game with a stunning strike from 30 yards but De Zerbi felt his side could have managed the remainder of the game better.

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“Julio is another of our important young players. I’m happy for him, it was an important goal for us and for him but we could have done better after the [second] goal, we played too deep so we have to work and improve that. We suffered too much, so we have to work on our mentality.”

The only disappointment was the loss of Joel Veltman and Evan Ferguson to injury, with De Zerbi confirming afterwards that both will miss the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United at Wembley next Sunday.

“We are losing too many players,” admitted De Zerbi. “We have a very tough last period of the season and in the next game we play in the semi-finals of the FA Cup but they are very good players and we can change things. For instance, Pascal Gross started today in central midfield and finished at full back. We have to organise to achieve our target for the next game and the rest of the season.”

De Zerbi’s opposite number had no complaints about the result. “We were well beaten by a fantastic Brighton team, who can do that to any team in the league.”