Dicker: Under-21s have plenty to play for

Albion back in action on Monday against Hull City

By Charlie Hanson • 05 February 2024

By Paul Hazlewood
Under-21s coach Gary Dicker.

Under-21s assistant head coach Gary Dicker says the men’s under-21s have plenty to play for despite being knocked out of the EFL Trophy.

Albion were beaten 4-1 by Wycombe last Wednesday in the quarter-finals of the competition but are seventh in Premier League 2, as well as through to the knockout stages of the Premier League International Cup and face West Ham United away from home in the next round.

Dicker wants to see the players use the EFL Trophy experience going forward.


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EFL Trophy Highlights: Wycombe 4 Brighton 1

He said, “We only had three games in the EFL Trophy last season and this year we’ve had six. We have tried to use the games as a good learning tool because if you want to play in the EFL, you’ve got to be prepared to play 46 league games and you can see that if you’re not at that level, then you can get hurt in games.

“Disappointment is a part of football, the players have to learn from that. They won’t be the first team who get beaten by a direct team and what they have learned from that competition hopefully they will bring that with them.

“We need to dust ourselves down. We’ve got another big week coming up with Hull and Norwich to play and with that comes opportunity. We don’t want the season to fizzle out, we want to do as well as we can.”

By Paul Hazlewood
Caylan Vickers was a deadline day signing from Reading.

With four new arrivals in the under-21 group, alongside two departures on deadline day and regular opportunities to train with the first team, it’s proving to be a busy time for the under-21s.

“It’s always an interesting period, certain lads are at different stages in their career,” Dicker added. “Some are looking for first team football so we’ve ended up sending a few lads out and getting a few in as well. There’s a lot of moving parts.

“Now we know where we are and we’ve got an exciting period coming up. The International Cup, the Premier League Cup and the league. We want to finish the season strongly. There is so much to play for."

It will be a tall order for Albion to reach the knockout stages of the Premier League Cup. They will have to win by nine goals against Hull tonight. Kick off is 7.30pm at the American Express Elite Performance Centre.