Brighton’s Bernardo in confident mood for cup bid after Premier League wins
Brighton’s recent Premier League revival has given Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final at Millwall a different perspective, according to defender Bernardo.
The Seagulls have secured back-to-back Premier League victories following last weekend’s hard-fought 2-1 win at rivals Crystal Palace to get some breathing space above the relegation zone.
With the mood in the camp lifted, Brazilian Bernardo feels Chris Hughton’s squad can head to the Den looking ahead to a positive end to the campaign, which could yet see them at Wembley.
“The result last weekend has given us a lot of confidence. The atmosphere helped us too, we’ve had two great results heading into Sunday,” Bernardo said.
“Two weeks ago the atmosphere was different and the cup was on the side.
“Now things have switched and we are seeing things from a different perspective, but we know we’re not safe yet (in the Premier League).
“I always like cups, they’re very charming. They give the possibility to clubs who are possibly not the best the chance to achieve something.
“It’s not like a league where you have to be consistent throughout the whole season to win the title — in the cup, anything can happen.
“I’ve always been a football fan and Wembley is one of the big stages. Wembley, Maracana, San Siro — those are legendary stadiums where everyone wants to play, and for me it’s no different.
“It might be the biggest cup in the world, so for sure it means a lot to play in and we now have the chance of reaching a semi-final at Wembley.”
Millwall may be fighting to stay in the Sky Bet Championship, but their victory over Everton in the fourth round was a sign of what Brighton can expect on Sunday.
“They have beaten Premier League opposition before, and deserve to be at this stage, but we will be going there confident,” he said at a press conference reported by the club.
“It means a lot to many people in this country – we have a chance to get to Wembley, it’s a special opportunity.”
Veteran striker Glenn Murray was drafted into the side against Palace after Florin Andone aggravated a groin problem during the warm-up at Selhurst Park, and scored the opening goal.
The 35-year-old needs no introduction on what reception awaits in south London.
“There’s nowhere tougher to go – it’s a cup final for both clubs in many ways with what’s at stake,” Murray said.
“We know ourselves what to expect and we will be readying ourselves.”
Murray, who scored twice in the fourth-round replay win at West Brom, feels Brighton could well be on the way to enjoying a campaign to remember.
“Our first objective is (Premier League) safety – on the back of that we will look to continue our good cup run so far and I’m sure the fans will appreciate a day out at Wembley if we can get there,” Murray said on the club website.
“It could now turn into a really successful season for us
“We know it will be a tough game (at Millwall) and a very physical one that we will be ready for.”