Highlights from Roberto De Zerbi's Forest press conference

The head coach talks about Facundo Buonanotte; Evan Ferguson’s new contract; tonight’s test at the City Ground; and bouncing back from Sunday.

By Bruce Talbot • 26 April 2023

By Paul Hazlewood
Roberto De Zerbi confirmed that Facundo Buonanotte will make his first Premier League start against Nottingham Forest.

On Buonanotte’s improvement…

I am trying to understand the right moment to put the right player on the pitch, because sometimes it’s better to wait, sometimes you have a doubt but the difficulty of my work is to decide. Facundo is another with big potential, a smart player. I think he also has the personality and temperament to play in the Premier League. He must understand the country, the football in a new country, the style and how we are playing. But, to understand, sometimes he has to play. You can lose time playing with young players, but you have to do it. If you want to find a different level in the future, you have to invest [in young players]. I think he will play well. I want him to only think about enjoying it, he has to show me nothing because I believe in him and I think he will become one of the most important players for Brighton in the future.


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Roberto De Zerbi's Nottingham Forest press conference

On a new contract for Evan Ferguson…

He can improve a lot with us, because at Brighton there are the right conditions for young players. He is still 18, we haven’t forgotten that. He was playing very well and against Manchester United on Sunday it was bad for us not to have him because he has different qualities, he can give us different solution in the last 20, 30 metres. In the next game [against Wolves] we hope he will be ready to play.

The way that the club works is clear, young players are an important part for Brighton. We will work to help and improve the the young players like Evan and [Andrew] Moran. We will become bigger every year because there are a lot of good young players here to work with. But there are a lot of big players too like Dunk, Webster, March, and Gross. That mix is the secret for Brighton.

By Paul Hazlewood
Evan Ferguson has signed a new contract until 2028.

On bouncing back after Sunday’s disappointment…

On Tuesday morning I told the players that we decide how we can lose, but we don’t decide how we win... the performance is more important than the result. If there was a way to always achieve a good result, every coach would always achieve it. It's tough to accept the result on Sunday and that we're not in the final, but we know how football is and we must accept it and to think only about the future. I gave Solly a big hug and I just explained the truth which is a [missed] penalty can happen, but we played in the semi-finals because of the performances of Solly and we are fighting for a European place also because of the performances of Solly. That's the truth, and I love to tell the truth. Solly will play on Wednesday.

On Wednesday’s challenge against Forest…

I have a lot of ideas [to win the game], I don’t know if they will be the right ideas, but we have many solutions, different qualities and characteristics. But we can play any way and we can win any way and we have to be focussed on the way we play and with that way we will try to reach the three points. Nottingham Forest have played well in the last period. They have good players and they played well against Liverpool [on Saturday], but in the Premier League there aren’t easy games.