Brighton’s Adam Webster impressed by new-look Aston Villa
Brighton defender Adam Webster admits facing Aston Villa is a different proposition this season.
The Seagulls travel to Villa Park on Saturday looking to add to their single Premier League win from the opening eight games of the campaign.
While Brighton have struggled for points at the start of the season, Villa have kicked on having survived on the final day last year.
Dean Smith’s men sit sixth in the table heading into the weekend, having won 3-0 at Arsenal before the international break.
Villa captain Jack Grealish has flourished for club and country of late, while smart summer signings such as striker Ollie Watkins from Brentford and Ross Barkley on loan from Chelsea have helped them improve.
Brighton lost to a last-gasp Matt Targett goal when they went to Villa Park last October but Webster is expecting a harder task this time around.
“It’s a different side to the one we faced there last season,” he told Brighton’s official website.
“They have players in good form and we’re expecting a tough match. They’ve had some great results.
“Any team that goes to Arsenal and wins convincingly is doing something right, but it’s a challenge we’re all looking forward to.
“The core of the squad was still here training during the internationals break, so that’s been good from our perspective in terms of working together. We’re looking forward to getting back out there on Saturday.”
Brighton will be hoping the return of captain Lewis Dunk from suspension will help boost their chances of a positive result.
Webster has been wearing the armband in Dunk’s absence and is pleased with how his own game has gone lately.
“I’m grateful for the chance to captain the side,” he added.
“I’m 25 now and not a young player any more, so I felt like it was the right time for me to be given that opportunity.
“I think I’ve developed a lot at Brighton. The first lockdown possibly helped me a bit because I was able to step away from football for a while and take my mind off it.
“We weren’t having the best run so it came at a good time. Since the restart I feel like I’ve been playing well and maybe that’s why I was given the armband.
“I don’t want to stop here though, I’m always looking to push on and trying to improve.”