Kayal & Stephens On Cup Progression
Beram Kayal and Dale Stephens have been speaking about their delight at seeing Brighton through to the next round of the FA Cup following victory over Crystal Palace earlier this week.
With the players back in training now as we prepare for the next game, Kayal obviously had personal delight as the game was his first start of the season at the Amex Stadium.
Speaking to the Official Site with all 90 minutes under his belt, the Israeli explained.
'To start at the Amex was nice because it had been a while and it was a great feeling to play in front of the home fans. It`s always special for any player when you play at home and this was the first full game I had for a long time so that`s big for me too - the fact we won made it even better so it was a good night. It was great to be awarded 'man of the match` as well, but the most important thing was the win in the cup and now we look forward to the next round - it means a lot and it`s great for everyone concerned.'
With Glenn Murray deciding the tie late on, he reflected on the overall performance.
'I think we controlled the game in the first half, but the tempo wasn`t too high and in the second half they pressed us. They put another striker on and made it harder for us, but we had some good chances in the second half too, and it was great to win it in the last few minutes. We said before the game that any technology to help would be good for the game. We`re happy that we won and that Glenn put us into the next round.'
With Middlesbrough in the next round.
'It`s fair to say that we don`t have too many fond memories of Middlesbrough in recent seasons, but it`s a cup game and a different situation now. When you lose something you always have another chance to respond and be positive in your mentality, and that`s what we`ll do. We`re a long way from that day now and we`re enjoying the Premier League - so we go there looking to win it.'
With Stephens getting on the scoresheet, in his own interview he explained that he was delighted to have opened his account for the season and now he wanted more after going over a year without a goal to his name.
'I've been reminded a few times. What is it, 13 months? I'm glad to squash that duck really. To be honest, I was looking to square it. I was looking over my shoulder to see if I could put somebody in but I heard a shout from Sam Baldock actually, 'shoot, shoot'. He made my mind up to shoot and it was nice to see the ball go into the back of the net. Nothing really changed for me in terms of the role I played. I just saw the opportunity to go forward. It is important that one of us does break forward when we've got the ball in the final third. It paid off.'
With West Bromwich Albion next up, whilst a Cup run was a nice distraction he knew our bread and butter was survival in the Premier League.
'That is the more important game. The game in the FA Cup is good for us and for the lads that have not been playing, but the league is obviously our bread and butter and the main focus. That is going to be more important. They are in a position they don't want to be in. Every game is an opportunity to kick-start a run of games where they are going to get themselves out of it. We are still in that group of teams. We are not veering away from what we need to achieve. We need to pick up more points. It's a good game for us as well.'
Stephens is confident we can attain survival as he knows we have the quality in the group, and victory over West Brom would take us ten points clear of them and that would be another good confidence boost.
'It will be tight from now until the end. We knew it would be like that. But we are not at the bottom, we are still mid-table. We've got a good opportunity at the weekend to stretch the margin and that's what we have to do, look at every game individually and just build from there. I think our squad is strong enough, I've said that before. But it would be nice to get a boost if we get a fresh face in. I'm confident with the squad we've got at the moment that we can achieve what we want to achieve and stay in this division.'