Mikey Harris looking to equal record points total
(Credit: Dan Mullan via Getty Images)

Brighton interim manager Mikey Harris has praised the resilience of his team, as they prepare to face West Ham this weekend.

Last weekend saw the Seagulls produce a 3-2 away win over Leicester City, a win that saw them shoot up the table.

Harris was delighted with the character his side showed but says there are certainly things he wants to clean up from the victory.

“It was certainly a really important win for us, because it allowed us to jump a couple of places in the table which is always nice.

“In terms of the most satisfying win for me personally, I would say no, because I actually wasn’t overly pleased with our play with the ball, we are a lot better than what we showed, and the players agree with that.

“What I was delighted with is the character and resilience that the players showed. It’s a fantastic trait to have, to find a way to win in difficult games, especially away from home.

“I’m really pleased with that, but the in-possession aspects, we as a group agree can be improved upon, and we’ve worked hard this week to make sure we’re better in that regard.”

Last Sunday saw the Seagulls lineup without some of this season’s standout players like Maria Thorisdottir and Emma Kullberg, but they still managed to produce a win.

That for the interim manager was one of the most pleasing aspects of the game and says everyone at every level has played their part.

“We have got a really good squad here. I’ve said from the start that everyone will play their part this season.

“You can see that with the way the games have been going, the players who start the game contribute really well, and the players who come off the bench have been fantastic.

“It shows the importance of the whole squad, and we also have some really good academy players that are ready when we need them.

“It’s easy to forget the contributions that they make during the week, to ensure training sessions are of a high level, to make sure we can get the tactical work done that we want to.

“Staff, players, first team and academy, everyone contributes to the weekend performances.”

Now Harris’ side sit eighth on 17 points; eleven points clear of bottom side Bristol City.

Albion are now looking up the table, and with their current record WSL points total being 26, the squad feel like that’s an achievable target come the end of the season.

“Why not try and reach it! We’ll be doing everything we can to try and reach that. It would be a fantastic achievement if we were to do it.

“This group will be going all out to try and win as many games as we can between now and the end of the season.”

Jekyll and Hyde performances

For the neutral, Brighton’s games have certainly been a spectacle.

Starting with the attack, this is an Albion team who have scored eleven goals in their last three games, which is more than the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea.

For a side who want to play a high tempo game, Harris is happy that is forwards are finally getting into positions to score.

“All of our attacking players are building in confidence, and you can see that in training. We’re starting to see it in the games now too, and we want to see it more.

“The most important thing for me is we’re getting players, whether that be Veatriki Sarri, Katie Robinson, Elisabeth Terland, Madison Haley, Lee Geum-min, we’re getting them into goalscoring positions, and that’s one of the things we’ve been working on day in and day out.

“We want to create those high-quality chances and let the attacking players get into the best positions in order to score. We’ve seen an improvement in that over the last few weeks for sure.”

A big reason why Brighton are free scoring of late has been the introduction of Madison Haley to the front line.

The American has been out for a while with an injury, but now back, she’s starting to build a formidable partnership with top scorer Elisabeth Terland.

“It’s a really valuable dynamic for us to have them both up top. They’ve both got qualities in terms of finishing, hold up play, athleticism, they’re both top players.

“We have to be mindful of the fact that Madison has missed a huge amount of football this season, and we have to balance that off with trying to get her on the pitch as much as possible, because we know the value that she brings.

“Since she’s been back from injury, the partnership between the two of them is growing, is developing, and it’s an exciting one for us as a club moving forward.”

For all the goals they're scoring, Brighton are also shipping in a lot of goals at the other end.

In the same three-game span where they’ve scored eleven, they’ve conceded nine.

The balancing act between attack and defence is tough for every manager, but Harris is hoping to see an improvement come the end of the season.

“It’s not good for my health and well-being these high-scoring games!

“It’s obviously something we want to improve on. It’s an area that we are trying to work on, and we’d like to concede less goals, but we do want to be an attacking team. We do want to score goals and we do want to entertain.

“I don’t think anyone has found a way of being perfect in terms of their attacking and defending and covering all aspects of the game, that’s what makes football so fascinating.

“Everything is a trade-off. You get one area of the pitch right, but then you have to get all the other areas right.

“It’s a brilliant conundrum, and one I’m privileged to be trying to solve with my staff, but the truth is, you never crack it.”

West Ham challenge

This weekend sees Harris take his team to Dagenham to face West Ham.

The Irons sit one place above the relegation zone and haven’t won in the league since the start of February.

That being said, Harris is expecting a tough battle but also believes his side can keep up their good away form.

“I think West Ham are a good side. We know it’s really tight in our part of the table and there’s nothing in it in terms of points.

“I’ve watched them a lot this week and they’re a very solid team who are going to be difficult to play against.

“They’ve got some threats going forward as well, and as always, we will have to be at our best.

“We will focus on us, we will respect the opposition, and we will try and impart our style and identity onto them as much as we can.

“Hopefully, if we do that, we can produce a really positive performance and build some momentum on this away run that we’re on.”

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