Brighton star bidding to change his luck at The Den
Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Dale Stephens is bidding to change his luck at Millwall when the Seagulls travel to The Den in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup this afternoon.
The 29-year-old admits he has not enjoyed too many positive results on his visits to The Den but says he will relish the intimidating atmosphere.
Brighton are aiming to reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup for just the second time in their history but Stephens knows Albion will have to be at their best to progress.
He said: “I’ve been there a few times. A lot of players have been there and said the same thing - it’s obviously a difficult place to go.
“The style of play is high tempo and it’s intimidating. But I enjoyed it. They generate a good atmosphere which is good to play in front of.
“At Charlton the fans certainly made you aware of the calibre of the game, it was a local derby. And you could feel it on the day
“I’ve not done that well at The Den, I’ve not won there in four games. I think the best I’ve done is a draw and that was with Brighton. So I’ll be looking to change that. It’s a good time to go there and knock that record on the head.
“The toughest game I ever played there was a pre-season game with Charlton. It was a testimonial match for Alan Dunne. Millwall against Charlton. It was the last pre-season fixture before the season started and I remember it being a typical, difficult away game at Millwall.
"I don’t think they change whether it’s a friendly pre-season or a big game during the season. That’s how they play. There will be no surprises this weekend.”
Stephens admits there is a huge incentive to reach the semi-finals to have a day out at Wembley, where he has played just once before when Albion met Tottenham in the Premier League last season.
He said: “It would be massive. The occasion itself would be huge for everybody. It’s certainly the furthest I’ve got in this competition if we can do it. But it’s going to be tough.
"They are probably thinking exactly the same thing over at Millwall. They are probably as happy as we are with the draw. They will be right up for it as well.”
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