We didn't deal with pressure well enough this season - Brighton star

Lewis Dunk. Picture by PW Sporting Photography
Lewis Dunk. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

Defender Lewis Dunk admits Brighton & Hove Albion didn't deal with pressure well enough during the second half of the Premier League season.

The Seagulls were in a comfortable position heading into the new year but fell down the table in 2019 and Sunday's point in the 1-1 draw at Arsenal was just their 11th from 17 Premier League games.

Their place in the top-flight was assured for another season on Saturday when Cardiff lost to Crystal Palace and Dunk praised Albion's showing at Arsenal, saying it showed the Seagulls deserve to be in the Premier League.

He said: "We were safe before the game started. We came into the last two games looking for good performances to try to pick up a few points until the end of the season and get ready for next year.

"We wanted to show what we're about and why we should be in this league.

"I thought we were excellent. We showed why we're in this league next year.

"We should have been doing this more often especially in the second half of the season as we've done it nowhere near enough.

"That's probably because of pressure that has been on us and the nerves of the games with fighting to stay in the league.

"It showed there when the pressure has come off a little bit, it's easier to play.

"We didn't deal with that pressure enough and next year we've got to try to not get in the position we were in this year."

Reflecting on the season after sealing survival, Dunk added: "The first half of this season we were excellent and we had 25 points going into the new year.

"If you repeat that for the second half of the season you're on 50 points and comfortably in the top half of the league.

"We've got to focus on that first half of the year and try to get two of those halves together. It shows it's not that easy in this league but we've got to make sure we have some time off after the next game and come back ready to work hard and get ready for next season.

"Hopefully we won't be in a relegation battle."


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