Roberto De Zerbi seeks positive response as Brighton aim to bounce back

De Zerbi, who arrived in English football as successor to Graham Potter at Brighton in September after managing in his homeland and then at Shakhtar Donetsk, added: “For me, when there is football, it is always like Christmas Day.

“Now we want to play a great game on 26 December because the result with Charlton was difficult to accept.

“This period, Christmas, in Italy, was totally different, but for me nothing can change. I’m happy to play on Boxing Day, December 26, it doesn’t change anything. I’m focused only on Southampton, to prepare the best way the game.

“It’s a difficult game but I believe in my players and I think they suffered the last result and I wait for a good answer on the pitch.”

Brighton, currently seventh in the league table, face a Southampton outfit who lie second-bottom and in November sacked boss Ralph Hasenhuttl and replaced him with former Seagulls player and coach Nathan Jones.

Jones then oversaw a 3-1 loss at Liverpool in the Saints’ final pre-World Cup game, then a 2-1 home win over Lincoln in the cup on Wednesday.


De Zerbi said: “They changed their coach, they won the last game in the Carabao Cup. It’s a good team with good players.

“But in this game I think we have to think only of our players, of our team, because we have quality, we have good players to win the game, to play better. We are improving in a lot of things.”

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