Roberto De Zerbi in rallying cry to Brighton fans - 'I never ask anything'
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They remain eighth in the league, knowing that win over bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United will move them above Newcastle and Manchester United into sixth.
"Sunday is one of the most important games in this season,” De Zerbi said.
"I think it’s a final for us because it will be a very tough game. Tougher than yesterday [the 2-0 win at Ajax].
"We know very well Sheffield is a good team. They won [2-1 against Wolves] last week. To win, we have to play very well, a great game with the right quality and attitude.”
The Italian made a rallying cry to his supporters, who are likely still on a comedown after the fairy tale trip to Amsterdam.
“We need our fans,” De Zerbi said. “I never ask anything of our fans but Sunday they [the players] need their support to win the game.
"If we win Sunday, we can reach a different level but not on the table. The mentality. For it, we have to prepare our best like a final."
On the win over Ajax, De Zerbi said he and his staff ‘are very proud for this historic result’.
But he added: “For our fans, our club. If you think Brighton are a big team, you are making a big mistake.
"You can’t forget who is Brighton and who has been Brighton until the last year. We are fighting.
“We lost our three most important players [in the summer]. Maybe sometimes you forgot.
“Brighton is playing three games a week. It’s very hard work for us. It’s a very tough season. I’m sorry when I read we haven’t won in five games. We have to understand the season. Otherwise you are making a big mistake.
“When you are not used to playing in Europa League, your head can stay in Amsterdam. It’s finished so the focus now must be on Sheffield in Premier League.
"We have to win as last victory was Bournemouth. We want to keep the level in the Premier League as well.”