Dale Stephens has urged Brighton to beat Wigan
Victory over Wigan this afternoon would effectively seal promotion to the Premier League after 34 years outside the top flight.
Promotion would come 20 years after the Seagulls were effectively left homeless by the sale of their old Goldstone Ground. They shared with Gillingham for two seasons and spent more than a decade at the Withdean Stadium, a converted athletics venue.
But they are now on the brink of glory after moving to the Amex Stadium, where they hope to host a promotion party today. “We get told about it a lot,” said Stephens. “I played against Brighton at the Withdean for Oldham so I know a bit about the history.
“We are reminded about it by the fans and everyone wants us to get promoted to take this group of players to the next level. If we do it it’ll be a massive achievement for everyone. It’ll be fully deserved.
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“If we do it it’ll go down in the history of the football club and I’ll be proud to be a part of it.”
Mathematically Chris Hughton’s men still need four points to clinch promotion but victory against the Latics would effectively seal it due to their huge goal difference advantage over third-placed Huddersfield.
So a win would get the Brighton party started before the Terriers kick-off at Derby at 5pm but Stephens claims they are taking nothing for granted.
Brighton have flourished under Chris Hughton this season
“This league is so unpredictable, it can certainly bite you,” he said. “We look at the next game, we have put ourselves in a really good position and we want to capitalise on where we are. This is the next opportunity to do so.
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“The manager is never too high but he gets his point across when we don’t do the job. He has kept his feet on the ground and we have been in a good position throughout the season.
“He has kept us focused on our main target which has been getting promotion. I think he’s a very good manager, he’s proven at this level and hopefully he can get an opportunity to do the job in the Premier League.”