Brighton and Hove Albion head coach Roberto De Zerbi demanded results from his players ahead of their match against Nottingham Forest on Tuesday, saying the singular point they had picked up since his appointment was not good enough.
After De Zerbi replaced Chelsea-bound Graham Potter in September, Brighton have drawn one and lost two of his opening three matches as Seagulls boss.
And De Zerbi acknowledged his team need to start picking up better results, telling reporters: “We are sorry because in three games, only one point is not right.
But we have the possibility to win tomorrow. We have to be focused only on the Nottingham (Forest) match.
“I have to understand the best first 11 for tomorrow, I have some idea and today with the last training (session), I have to decide.”
De Zerbi’s call for points could be answered on Tuesday, when they face a Forest side bottom of the Premier League and on a run of six defeats in their last seven in the competition.
Forest manager Steve Cooper had a mixed injury update to offer ahead of their visit to the Amex Stadium, saying: “We picked up some injuries last week, and we’re still not ready to make a final decision on whether those lads are back yet.
“But, for sure, we have options, even though we have picked up a few knocks in the last couple of weeks. Some players are getting a bit fitter and stronger as well.
“All of these are things you always have to manage – injuries and availability – especially when they are games in quick succession.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Brighton and Hove Albion – Pascal Gross
Gross has registered five Premier League goal involvements this season, but has not scored since the 1-0 victory over Leeds United all the way back in August. Can he get back among the goals here?
Nottingham Forest – Emmanuel Dennis
The Nigeria international scored on his first Premier League start for Forest in the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa but could not replicate that in the weekend defeat to Wolves. Forest may need him to strike here if they are to get a result.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– In a run stretching back to 1996, Nottingham Forest have won just one of their last 14 midweek (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) Premier League games (five draws, eight defeats), winning 1-0 at West Ham in January 1997. They lost 6-0 against Manchester City in their only such game this term.
– Brighton lost their last home Premier League match, ending a seven-game unbeaten run in the league at the Amex Stadium. However, the Seagulls are unbeaten in their last seven home league games against promoted sides (three victories, four draws).
– Nottingham Forest have not won any of their last 40 Premier League games when they have conceded first, losing 32 times in the process (drawn eight) – including losing all five games this season when conceding first.
– After scoring three goals from just six attempts in De Zerbi’s first match in charge, Brighton have failed to score with any of their 35 shots over their last two Premier League games (14 vs Spurs, 21 vs Brentford).
– De Zerbi is looking to avoid becoming the first Brighton manager to fail to win any of his first four league games in charge since Barry Lloyd, who failed to win his first 12 in charge between January and April 1987.