Dunk: We’ll soak up the party atmosphere

Lewis Dunk (far right) celebrates scoring against Norwich. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Lewis Dunk (far right) celebrates scoring against Norwich. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Lewis Dunk says the players will soak up the atmosphere on Sunday when Albion have an open-top bus parade around the streets of Brighton and Hove.

The Seagulls failed to land the Championship title as a late Aston Villa equaliser denied them the win they needed on Sunday – while Newcastle’s 3-0 victory over Barnsley saw them pip Brighton to the title by a point.

That will not dampen the mood too much, though, when the Albion fans celebrate promotion to the Premier League for the first time in their history on Sunday – and a return to the top flight of English football after 34 years.

Dunk said: “On Sunday, we’ve got to soak it up and appreciate all the fans who will turn out and give them as much praise as us.

“It’s going to be a great day and hopefully the disappointment (of not winning the title) has left us by then and we can enjoy it as much as the fans.”

While not winning the title was disappointing, Dunk admitted it was nothing compared to missing out on promotion last year. He said: “I didn’t realise before this game how tough I’d take not winning the league.

“Now that’s happened it’s devastating but the whole summer last year until we turned up for pre-season, I didn’t get over it.

“It was such a near miss, missing out by one goal was ridiculous but this year we’re looking forward to the Premier League, so what more do you want as a footballer? You’re in the promised land, so we’ll just look forward to that.

“We had the three chances to do it (win the title) and we gave our all.

“To concede in the 88th minute against ten men, it just wasn’t meant to be for us. We’ve just got to get over this little hurdle we’ve got, prepare for next year, come back flying and do the best we can in the Premier League.”

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