Stephens set to face former side

Dale Stephens. Picture by Angela Brinkhurst
Dale Stephens. Picture by Angela Brinkhurst

BRIGHTON midfielder Dale Stephens feels it will be a special occasion when he runs out against the side who gave him his Championship chance on Saturday.

Albion, who moved back to the summit after a 2-1 home success over Birmingham City last time out, welcome fourth-from-bottom Charlton to the Amex.

The Addicks are a club close to Stephens’ heart, after he made more than 80 appearances for the London side.

That opportunity also saw him taste Championship football and the now Albion midfielder looks back on his time with Charlton fondly.

He said: “I enjoyed my two and a half years with them.

“A lot has changed since I came to Brighton but I have got lots of fond memories from my time there.

“They gave me the opportunity to have first-team Championship level and I’m grateful for that chance.

“I also felt I progressed a great deal as a footballer in my time there, so I have good memories of Charlton.

“But I came to Brighton because of their ambition and we have shown this year we are capable of mixing it with the top teams and that was a big factor in me coming here.”

Albion remain unbeaten after 18 games and last week’s victory over Birmingham saw them climb back to the top.

For some, Brighton’s superb form this season will have come as a surprise but Stephens admits himself and the side have great belief.

He added: “We had a meeting pre-season and we spoke about what we wanted to achieve this year and it’s going to plan.

“It’s very tight still and there is a long way to go. All we can do is focus on ourselves and take it game by game.”

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