Dunk praises Brighton's reaction against Newcastle after 'terrible' first half

Defender Lewis Dunk felt Brighton & Hove Albion were worthy of a point against Newcastle on Saturday despite a ‘terrible’ first half performance, writes James Wootton.

Sunday, 28th April 2019, 11:08 am
Updated Sunday, 28th April 2019, 9:13 pm
Lewis Dunk battles away against Newcastle. Picture by Steve Robards
Lewis Dunk battles away against Newcastle. Picture by Steve Robards

Ayoze Perez’s first half rocket opened the scoring and signalled the fourth home game in a row where the opposition had taken the lead.

Albion battled back in the second half in a rejuvenated manner as Pascal Gross scored his third of the season to rescue an important point.

Brighton now hold a four point advantage over Cardiff in the fight for survival, with two games remaining, and Dunk is hopeful that Albion will get over the line.

Speaking after the game, he said: “Hopefully it’s a massive point. Obviously it’s one step closer to safety, we’re four points ahead now with two games to go so they’ve (Cardiff) either got to win two or win and draw one and goal difference comes into play but we’re a good goal difference away so we’re nearly there.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t (know the Cardiff result), we knew. With the result being like that we knew if we won it would basically be over but that first half performance was terrible.

“We weren’t good enough and deserved to come in at half-time 1-0 down but we showed a great reaction in the second half, we were a completely different team and deserved the point in the end.”

When asked about what Albion boss Chris Hughton said to the players in the dressing room during the interval, Dunk said: “A kick up the backside. He told us we weren’t good enough and to do something about it and if we don’t react then we’re not going to get anything out of the game and we reacted to what he said.

“He brought Solly (March) on and I thought he was excellent second half and helped us get a foothold in the game and massive credit to all the boys for digging in and getting that point that hopefully keeps us up.”

Dunk praised teammate Pascal Gross and the importance of his goal as Albion look to head into their last two fixtures of the season with confidence.

He said: “It was a massive goal and a great timed run. We’ve been lacking in confidence lately and it’s been a tough run. Hopefully this will give us a little boost and get our confidence back going forward and scoring some more goals.”