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Brighton’s Gaetan Bong welcomes Bernardo’s competition

11:46 IST 10/05/2019
Gaetan Bong Brighton 2018-19
The young Brazilian has impressed for the Seagulls since joining them, and the Cameroonian is relishing the developing rivalry

Brighton and Hove Albion defender Gaetan Bong is open to competition from Bernardo for the left-back position.

The 23-year-old Brazilian joined the Seagulls at the start of the season from German Bundesliga side RB Leipzig, to bolster the defence of Chris Hughton’s men.

Bernardo and Bong have made 21 and 22 Premier League appearances respectively this season to help Brighton escape relegation, with a game in hand.

The Cameroon international has lauded the performance of Bernardo and the different abilities he brings to the team.

“Competition is always important. Bernardo is a young player, a quality player, and a different type of footballer. You need to have different footballers within the team,” Bong told Brighton website.

“Some days maybe you want to play a little more offensive, but other days you may want to show more strength, fight and take a point.

“We can both do it, but sometimes the manager has to make a choice. Our job is to make decisions hard for the manager, and this is the manager’s problem.”

Brighton take on Premier League leaders Manchester City in their last game of the season on Sunday, and Bong believes they can finish the campaign impressively.

“Last season we finished with games against the top teams in the league, and it’s been the exact same this season," he added

“It’s not easy to stay in this league, you have to fight until the end. Even when you know it’s going to be very hard, you have to use your head and take points.

“We always try to fight until the end and show character. The most important thing is to finish well and have the feeling that we’ve given everything.

“Premier League seasons are tough, but if the squad knows everyone has given everything, then everyone is going to be happy. We can then rest and think about next season.”

On the international scene, Bong will be expected to play a significant role for Cameroon in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, which kicks off on June 21.

The Indomitable Lions are in Group F along with Benin, Ghana and Guinea-Bissau.

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