Brighton and Hove Albion’s Gaëtan Bong anticipates Old Trafford return

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The Cameroon left-back is delighted as he prepares to face the Red Devils at home and believes his experience against them will be of help to his side

Gaëtan Bong has talked up Brighton and Hove Albion’s ‘big game’ against Manchester United at Old Trafford, saying ‘it is a dream for the club and players’.

The Seagulls take on Jose Mourinho’s side in Saturday’s English Premier League clash and the defender disclosed that it is a tie to relish for the newly-promoted side.

“We look forward to games like the one against Manchester United and we know the story this club has,” Bong told club website.

“It’s a big game and it’s a dream for the club and the players to go there. Now we need to just go there, enjoy it and play hard.”

Chris Hughton’s men have taken the top-flight in a decent fashion, placed ninth after 12 matches, thus, earning themselves the ‘underdogs’ tag - one the Cameroon international insists they focus less on.

“People can see us as underdogs but that doesn't matter to us, because that doesn’t impact what goes on out on the pitch,” he continued.

“You can look at league tables and try to compare where the two teams and clubs are, but you don’t know what’s going to happen on the pitch and so we just need to stay calm before the game and then show everyone what we can do once it starts."

Bong’s only game at Old Trafford was in 2014, then at Greek top-flight side Olympiacos.

The 29-year-old savoured the moment despite watching - from the bench - his side’s 2-0 first leg lead being overturned by a Robin van Persie hat-trick as the Red Devils progressed to the quarter-final of the Uefa Champions League.

The former France youth international took some lesson he thinks would be useful as Brighton aim to extend a five-match unbeaten run on Saturday.

“It’s a good game, I’m always calm and they’re just human – it’s a big team but we’ll do the best we can do.

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“I’ve played with Olympiacos for a Champions League game at Old Trafford - we lost but I think we did well in the first game because we won at home. That second leg was like a lesson for me and I will try to speak to my teammates about what we can do there.

“I would just say stay calm, go and show your strength and your character because on the pitch it’s not just about technical ability, it’s about mentally and how strong you are and we need to show the Brighton character.”

Bong has accumulated 450 minutes in five league starts for ninth-placed Brighton. Although, yet to score a goal, the former Wigan Athletic player has been part of a solid defensive unit having kept clean sheets in two of those encounters.

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