Brighton captain Lewis Dunk admits they are still adapting to their new style of football after their 2-0 loss at Chelsea.
Albion were far from their best at Stamford Bridge and were soundly beaten by Chelsea who recorded their first home win and clean sheet under manager Frank Lampard.
Brighton have transformed their playing style under Graham Potter and like to build their attacks from defensive positions.
It’s a demanding role for Albion’s back three and requires a cool head and excellent technique - especially against teams that press as well as Chelsea did.
When it works, it looks very impressive but when it doesn’t, it all goes horribly wrong. Chelsea’s first arrived when the excellent Mason Mount pounced on Adam Webster’s heavy first touch as Albion attempted to pass their way out of trouble. Webster duly clattered into the young England midfielder and Jorginho fired home the penalty.
Their second came when Dunk’s pass was intercepted and substitute Callum Hudson-Odoi advanced with pace and teed-up Willian to fire home.
“Playing the way we do now, we are going to have days where it does not click and give the ball away,” said Dunk. “They pressed really well and imposed themselves on us and we struggled to get round it.
“That’s part of the game and we use it as a learning curve. We are playing a new style now and we are still improving. We have a long way to go and hopefully we can put it right next week.”
Chelsea moved up to sixth in the Premier League while Brighton fell to 16th. It’s the first match this season that Albion have failed to be competitive as they seek their first victory since the opening day against Watford.
“It was difficult, they were very good,” said Dunk “I don’t think we were as good today as we have been. It’s always tough coming to a top six side away from home and they dominated the game, quite a lot.
“We held on in the first half and tried to react in the second but then came the penalty. Two mistakes cost us. We were not at it.”
It’s been a testing week at Brighton as they exited the Carabao Cup to Aston Villa and injuries continue to hinder progress. Key summer signing Leandro Trossard remains absent with a groin problem, and against Chelsea they badly missed the midfield skills of Davy Propper (knock) and Solly March (hamstring).
“We have had injuries but we have a squad that is still capable of going out there and winning football matches,” added Dunk. “That is what a squad is for. We know we have a good enough squad so we keep grinding.”
Albion are just one point above the relegation places but three out of the next four Premier League matches are at home. They start with Tottenham at the Amex next Saturday, before their away trip to Villa on October 19. They they then welcome Everton and Norwich to Falmer.
“The Tottenham game now is very important,” Dunk said. “We have to go out and perform as we have done before this one (Chelsea). It’s a loss today but we have to move on from this.”