Sunday, February 25, 2024

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HomeTop LeaguesPremier LeagueDe Zerbi warns Brighton squad upon securing European football

De Zerbi warns Brighton squad upon securing European football

Roberto De Zerbi urged Brighton supporters to prepare their passports for their upcoming maiden European campaign next season while emphasizing the need for continuous improvement at the club.

In front of a sold-out Amex Stadium, Evan Ferguson scored a brace in the first half, contributing to Albion’s 3-1 victory over Southampton. Pascal Gross extended the lead after Mohamed Elyounoussi’s header for the relegated Saints.

Securing the three points ensures that De Zerbi’s team will finish no lower than seventh, securing a spot in the Europa Conference League. Although a sixth-place finish and qualification for the Europa League are highly likely mathematically.

“Today is difficult for me because with my English I can’t explain my emotion,” said the Italian manger, who succeeded Graham Potter in September.

“I think we deserve this. The club, the players, me, my staff, and the fans, they have to organise their passports to travel in Europe next year because we have to grow together.”

De Zerbi, who was recently nominated for the Premier League’s manager of the season award, displayed increasing animation on the touchline throughout Sunday’s match. The contest became more intriguing when Elyounoussi headed the ball past Jason Steele after 58 minutes.

There was a collective breath-holding moment among the spectators when Theo Walcott lifted the ball over the Albion keeper, but the potential equalizer for Southampton was disallowed due to an offside decision.

De Zerbi warns Brighton to ‘work harder’ as they get European football

Relief turned into joy when Gross struck the hosts’ third goal from the edge of the area, effectively securing the victory.

However, De Zerbi cautioned that securing tickets to Europe is just the beginning of a new era for Brighton. The club must now ensure they have a competitive squad capable of competing in four competitions next season.

He said: “I think the history of the Premier League explains. It can happen, you achieve Europe and the next year you can find yourself at the bottom of the table.

“Now is the crucial moment for the club. Not for Roberto, for the players, but for the club, because we have to keep this level. We have to build a squad to improve our level because I think (chairman) Tony (Bloom) and the club they don’t want to lose this level.

“And to not lose this level we have to work harder in this transfer market, not only in the transfer market but to organise better and better and better because the victory can be dangerous.

“If you celebrate the victory it’s right, it’s normal, but you have to improve. You have to work harder because you can lose the level.”

Ethan Dempsey
Ethan Dempsey
Ethan is a lifelong football fan. When he is not obsessing over the Premier League games, Ethan likes to read fantasy tomes, watch football documentaries and waste hours upon hours on video games.
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