Midfielder says Brighton have to match Tottenham performance for the run-in
Midfielder Dale Stephens says last night's performance at Tottenham has to be the minimum level Brighton produce for the rest of the Premier League season.
The Seagulls are still three points clear of third-from-bottom Cardiff after Christian Eriksen ended their resistance with a 88th-minute winner at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The late defeat followed a battling 0-0 draw at Wolves on Saturday, which ended a five-game losing run.
Brighton entertain Newcastle on Saturday before matches with Arsenal and Manchester City and Stephens insists survival is still in Albion’s hands.
He said: “We’ve got to fight. We know we’ve got work to do.
“It’s in our own hands and it’s up to us what we want to achieve this year. Our aim is to stay in this division.
“It’s going to be tough but we’ve got to do what we’ve done tonight (at Tottenham) in the next three games.
“It’s in our own hands and it’s up to us.
“We knew we had tough games coming up and knew what we had to do to try to get results.
“We got a point last week and almost got a point tonight. We’ve got two home games and Arsenal away. That performance has got to be the minimum to get the points we need.”
Reflecting on the late defeat at Tottenham, Stephens said: “It’s disappointing. We put so much into the game.
“We had a game plan and it nearly worked so we’re obviously disappointed.
“That (performance) has got to be our minimum. We’ve shown over the last two games we can defend well as a unit and going away from home especially it’s needed.
“We knew chances would be at a premium. With a little bit more belief and thought going forward we maybe could have capitalised.
“We knew we would have to surrender a bit of possession to get anything from the game and we almost carried the plan out to a tee.
“We’re disappointed we’ve come away with nothing and it shows what character we’ve got in the changing room. We’ve got to take that into another big game on Saturday.”
Stephens felt Eriksen’s winning goal was the only thing Albion did wrong all night and said: “I’ve just seen the goal back. We’d done a lot of work and were all tired. We probably didn’t get to the ball quick enough and that’s probably the only foot we’ve put wrong all night and it’s cost us.”
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