Dale Stephens reveals precisely what Brighton must do to turn decent performances into three points
Midfielder Dale Stephens insists Brighton must not get too disheartened after their 0-0 draw with Newcastle - despite dominating much of the play.
Albion, who are 16th in the Premier League on six points from six matches, played Newcastle off the park in the first half but failed to turn possession and slick passing into goals.
It’s a familiar story for Brighton as Graham Potter’s team will feel they should have also gained three points from West Ham, Burnley and now Newcastle to go with their one victory so far this season - at Watford on the opening day.
“We played well overall and we’d like more out of it with the performance we put in,” said Stephens. “We deserved more than a point but we are improving and that’s important.
“We expected a reaction from Newcastle (in the second half). We dominated the first half and we knew they would they would come at us.
“They threw Andy Carroll on and the crowd got behind them. We showed we are resilient at the back, we know we can do that and we made sure we got a point at least.
“There is disappointment that we have not got more points on the table. But the only way we can put that right is by working hard and improving. It will turn.
“The fact we are dominating games and getting chances is encouraging. We have identified how we want to play and how the manager wants us to play. It seems to suit us. But we need to be more clinical and that’s sometimes that’s the hardest thing to do in football.”
Albion were desperately close to sealing victory at St James’ Park when Aaron Connolly’s lob was acrobatically cleared off the line by Fabian Schar in the closing stages.
“I saw the still pictures of Aaron’s chance and we were just a few inches away from three points,” said Stephens. But it’s important we don’t get too disheartened because we are doing a lot of things right and improving every time we play.
“Everyone looks at the way Man City play and ultimately that’s the way we want to play football. I’m not saying we are Man City but we want to play a possession based style.”
Stephens also had words of encouragement to Steven Alzate, who sparkled on his Premier League debut.
“He’s been brilliant. He spent a bit of time out on loan last season and came back to us. He’s been with us in pre-season and looked like one of the first team. He thoroughly deserved his chance to play and he is taking his opportunity.
“It’s no surprise to see them (Alzate and Connolly) do so well. They look like they belong at this level. I’m sure if they get the opportunity again, they will take it again. Steven is a natural footballer he can do a bit of everything.”