Thanks for sticking by us during some tough days - Brighton star's message to the club's fans

Mathew Ryan. Picture by PW Sporting Photography
Mathew Ryan. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

Brighton & Hove Albion goalkeeper Mathew Ryan has praised the club's fans for sticking by the side during a tough 2019.

The Seagulls place in the Premier League was guaranteed for another season at the weekend after Cardiff lost at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday.

It came after a nervy few weeks which had seen Albion fall down the table after picking up just two league wins since the turn of the year.

Brighton have picked up in the last couple of weeks with draws against Wolves, Newcastle and Arsenal and only a late defeat to Tottenham and Ryan thanked the fans for sticking by the side during some tough days.

Speaking after the draw at Arsenal, he said: "Our fans have been there since the opening game of the season and long before that. Every time we pull on that shirt it's in respect to them with the effort we want to put in on the pitch.

"There's been quite a lot of tough days recently. They probably sit there and question what they see sometimes with the results and performances we've given - 'why are they doing what they're doing?' - but it's not through a lack of trying.

"If you're able to dissect and find a reason for why performances aren't happening you're going to be a coach at a big team if you can rectify everything and know the answers to every single question.

"They've always been supportive of us, they're never on our backs and always stay with us which makes them such great fans. It's understandable they perhaps get a little bit nervy and anxious sometimes in certain situations.

"It's only natural to question the situation we got ourselves in but they stuck by us the whole way.

"I hope they can take pride in our performance (at Arsenal) and what we gave out there for them."

Brighton complete their season at home to Manchester City on Sunday and Ryan feels one of Albion's biggest signs of improvement this season has been their performances against the top six.

Brighton drew away to Arsenal on Sunday to record their first point on the road to a top-six side.

The Seagulls had already beaten Manchester United at home and drawn with Arsenal at the Amex, while they were in every other game against the top sides apart from the 3-0 defeat at Chelsea.

Liverpool only beat Brighton 1-0 twice, Manchester City won 2-0 at the Etihad and 1-0 in the FA Cup semi-finals, while Tottenham twice, Manchester United once and Chelsea once only beat Albion by the odd goal.

Brighton will now look to finish the season on a high when they host title-chasing Manchester City on Sunday.

Pep Guardiola's side will be crowned champions with a win but Ryan has praised the Seagulls' performances against the top six this season.

He said: "This year one of the biggest signs of our improvement has been us being in the games against the big teams.

"It was only Chelsea away where they dominated the game so to speak.

"Apart from that we've made a contest of all of them and been right in it. We can take the positives from that.

"Of late it's been quite a tough run with lots of emotions and lots of downs.

"The ups were probably earlier in the season and in the middle patch a little bit. We've been suffering a lot recently.

"When you get a day (at Arsenal), I guess a point feels like a bit like three when you're away to a big team.

"Three could have felt like nine if we'd got the win."


Brighton star hopes to never have to celebrate a Crystal Palace goal ever again

Brighton star says survival celebrations caused 'a bit of a ruckus' in team hotel

Fantasy football tips: Manchester City, Liverpool and Leicester stars among those to sign for Gameweek 38

Arsenal v Brighton player ratings

Arsenal v Brighton fan and action picture gallery

Six things we learned from Arsenal v Brighton