Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football

We can’t let FA Cup final chance pass us by, says Brighton midfielder Stephens

Albion take on Manchester City at Wembley on Saturday.

Dale Stephens hopes to upset Manchester City (Gareth Fuller/PA)
Dale Stephens hopes to upset Manchester City (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Brighton midfielder Dale Stephens has urged his team-mates to seize a once-in-a-career opportunity to reach the FA Cup final.

Albion are huge underdogs for Saturday’s Wembley semi-final against quadruple-chasing Manchester City.

The Seagulls are in the last four of the competition for only the second time in their history and Stephens, who turns 30 in June, admits he is unlikely to have another chance.

“It’s a one-off chance, you don’t really get these opportunities too often. You’ve got to grasp it,” he said.

“No matter what age you be, you might not get this opportunity again.

“The older ones, like myself, it might be the last chance, so it’s important you don’t let it pass you by.

“We get to look forward to what will be probably one of the biggest occasions that I’ve been involved in.

“The occasion, the stadium, it’s what you dreamt about as a young boy and hopefully we can get the job done.”

Brighton, runners-up in the competition in 1983, have not beaten City for 30 years.

They have lost their three Premier League games against Guardiola’s team by an aggregate score of 7-1 following promotion in 2017.

The size of the task is not lost on Stephens and he admits City have a squad which is envied across Europe.

“I think you can look at any position, all across their team and subs – and probably the players who don’t even make the 18 – most of them could walk into a lot of clubs across European football,” he said.

“That’s the sort of task and challenge we’ve got going into the weekend.

“I think we can take a little bit of confidence from the times we have played against them, maybe a little bit more concentration, a bit more threat from ourselves, and maybe we’ll get something out of the game.”

PA

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph