Brighton’s Roberto De Zerbi: Battling through a challenging season

    Roberto De Zerbi says Brighton are fighting hard to keep their hopes of domestic and European success alive.

    The Seagulls’ side are being tested to their limits but are holding up well so far, with Thursday’s win away to Ajax putting them in second place in their Europa League group.

    They are seventh in the Premier League heading into Sunday’s home match against Sheffield United at the Amex Stadium and De Zerbi knows his players and staff will have to dig deep.

    “We are fighting, we are second in our Europa League group and seventh in the Premier League,” he said in quotes published on the club’s X account.

    “We lost three important players in the summer and we play three games a week. This is a difficult season, but we are fighting.

    “When you are not used to the Europa League, you need to focus on the next game. We need to win the Premier League.

    “Keeping clean sheets is an important part of football, but we need to analyze better because we haven’t been able to keep a clean sheet this season.”

    The only clean sheets Brighton managed were against Ajax home and away. The 20 goals they have conceded in the Premier League is the most for any team in the top 10.

    Brighton will be without defenders Pervis Estupinan and Lewis Dunk and midfielder James Milner for Sunday’s Blades clash.

    Ecuador international Estupinan returned from a muscle injury that had sidelined him since September 30 when he came on as a substitute in Thursday’s Europa League clash away to Ajax but lasted just 12 minutes before being forced off again.

    Dunk came on at half-time in Amsterdam with a possible groin injury and veteran Milner came on in the eighth minute.

    “Injuries are a terrible situation, but we can’t change anything,” De Zerbi said.

    “We have to focus on Sunday’s game, it’s one of the most important this season.”

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