Ryan: We need to learn quickly in the Premier League

Mathew Ryan claims a cross on Saturday. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Mathew Ryan claims a cross on Saturday. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Goalkeeper Mathew Ryan says Albion need to learn quickly after a 2-0 defeat to Manchester City on the opening day of the Premier League season on Saturday.

The match marked the Seagulls’ return to the top flight of English football after a 34-year absence and Brighton defended resolutely for long periods. However, Sergio Aguero’s opener on 70 minutes and Lewis Dunk’s own goal five minutes later took the title favourites to all three points.

Ryan, a summer signing from Valencia, was one of five players who made their competitive debuts for Albion, along with Markus Suttner, Izzy Brown, Pascal Gross and Davy Propper.

Speaking afterwards, Ryan feels the Brighton players will have to learn quickly as they get used to life in the Premier League: “If you don’t, you’ll continue to struggle and will be finding yourself in a battle throughout the year.

“The goal is to stay up. We’ve got all the foundations in place at the club to allow us as a team to do that. It’s just down to us as the playing group and us as a family to knuckle down, continue to learn and improve as a side.”

Brighton had just 22 per cent of possession in the game as City dominated for long periods. Ryan said: “Playing against a team like City, a big team, they’ve got a lot of quality and keep the ball really well and move it around to try to create their opportunities.

“Keeping the ball is going to be difficult but it’s an area we definitely need to improve going forward.

“Perhaps we could have been a little bit more useful with the ball and dealing with being under pressure. But it was our first game, so there were a bit of nerves today and all those sorts of things.

“We need to continue to learn and work hard as it’s a long season. The first one is out the way and hopefully we can come out with a better performance with the ball and get a better result next week.”

Albion captain Bruno added: “We had good moments in the game and had our chances.

“We have to score the first goal when we had a few chances in the second half and that would have changed the game.

“After a couple of mistakes, they score and that’s football. We need to learn quickly and we’ve got all of the week working on that.”

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