Ryan happy to do his bit

Brighton and Hove Albion
Brighton goalkeeper Mathew Ryan claims his side need to repay the club's fans by playing their part in the Premier League title race.

Goalkeeper Mathew Ryan was glad to make a contribution to Brighton’s opening-day victory over Watford and praised the defensive effort of the team.

The Seagulls kicked off proceedings with what looked a tricky trip to Vicarage Road but an own goal by Abdoulaye Doucoure plus strikes from Florin Andone and Neal Maupay gave the south-coast outfit all three points and the perfect start.

With a new manager at the helm following last season’s scrape with relegation, it was always going to be interesting to see how the players responded to Graham Potter’s methods and the early signs are good for the Amex Stadium faithful.

Many of those on view at the weekend have spoken out in praise of the coach’s methods and it seems as though they may be set to move up a gear follow last season’s turgid effort.

Although there was a definitive sense of more attacking intent against the Hornets, Potter knows that the key to survival will be at the back and his rearguard dealt well with everything Javi Garcia’s men threw at them.

Ryan was only called upon on a couple of occasions but saved well from a Jose Holebas free kick, and he was delighted to do his bit in a thoroughly professional display.

 

“It’s always great as a goalkeeper when you don’t have much to do,” he said. “There’s that old cliche of being a goalkeeper and it’s all right when the games end up being a clean sheet but, for that one moment that comes along, and even outside of that, there are still decisive moments where you need to be clear with your decisions and be that composed figure back there.”

Tougher tests will follow but the fixture calendar has been kind to Brighton, with a couple of winnable games on the horizon before a daunting trip to the Etihad to take on Manchester City at the end of the month.

West Ham United and Southampton are the next two visitors and, while both will be far from pushovers, Potter will expect to take points from the encounters.

He has worked his charges hard in the build-up to the campaign and Ryan was delighted that it paid off.

“We have prepared in a certain way since pre-season began and it’s nice that it has all come together,” he added.

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