Brighton star says Bournemouth and Cardiff games are just as big as FA Cup semi-final

Shane Duffy says Brighton & Hove Albion’s upcoming two Premier League home games are just as big as last week’s FA Cup semi-final with Manchester City.

Wednesday, 10th April 2019, 12:29 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th April 2019, 12:32 pm
Shane Duffy applauds the Albion fans at Wembley. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

The Seagulls entertain Bournemouth on Saturday and then host Cardiff on Tuesday. Albion are 16th in the table, just five points ahead of the third-from-bottom Bluebirds.

Brighton pushed reigning Premier League champions City all the way in their 1-0 defeat at Wembley on Saturday and Duffy says Albion have to perform like that for the rest of the season now to ensure a third successive season in the top flight.

Looking ahead to the two Premier League home matches, Duffy said: “It’s huge. It is the most important thing. The FA Cup has been a little bit of a distraction but I think the gaffer has been quite bold on the Premier League being the most important thing.

“It was a great day for everyone. Everybody has enjoyed the Cup run and it gives you more motivation to get back there again so it will give us more confidence for next season.

“But, as I said, the bread and butter is the Premier League and we know these two games are coming up and it’s a big week for us. It’s a big week for the club - just as big as this.

“The first thing the manager said (after the defeat to Manchester City) was you’ve got to take this performance on to Saturday.

“If we take bits from this game and put it together then we know we can go home and beat Bournemouth.

“That’s the aim. We’ve got to take confidence because if we don’t we shall get nowhere, so it’s down to us to be positive and go at them.”

Albion received compliments from Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling and City boss Pep Guardiola after Saturday’s match.

Duffy said: “It’s nice but I’d rather win and be ugly. It’s disappointing but no one really gave us a chance coming here.

“It was a tough afternoon and difficult for all of us but we gave it go and left everything out there. That’s all we could have done.

“We didn’t want to start like that (conceding an early goal) and that was the worst scenario. We had to regroup and stick with it because if we went out all guns blazing it would have been maybe three or four, so we had to stick with it until half-time.

“We knew the longer we were in the game that we would get a chance.

“I thought we played well and stuck with it well but it just didn’t drop for us.”