Brighton’s Burn demands right mentality to avoid cup upset

Brighton defender Dan Burn is determined to avoid being on the receiving end of an FA Cup upset after helping knock out “the best team in the world” a year ago.

The towering centre-back was part of the Wigan team which halted Manchester City’s hopes of a quadruple with a famous fifth-round victory last February.

After swapping the Latics for Premier League Albion, he will be on the side of the favourites on Saturday when Championship outfit Derby visit the Amex Stadium with a quarter-final place at stake.

Reminiscing about the giant-killing of Pep Guardiola’s City, the 26-year-old said: “Looking back on it, it was a massive result against probably, last year, the best team in the world.

“Obviously, it’s a little bit different for me this year because I’m part of a Premier League team playing against a Championship team, so I’m probably on the other end of it.

“It’s sort of a different type of mentality. When you’re the underdogs, it’s easy to get up for the game because you know there’s not a lot of pressure on you.

“I’m not saying every Premier League team will do this but you sort of relax a little bit and think you’re going to go through.

“It’s about having that same mentality that we take into Premier League games.”

Burn’s summer transfer to Sussex has given him a second crack at top-flight football after he was relegated with Fulham in 2014 following a remarkable rise through the football pyramid.

The former Newcastle season-ticket holder, who remained with the Latics for the first half of this season, was earning money pushing supermarket trolleys while studying for a sports diploma B-tech at the age of 16, before making his name with non-league Darlington.

“Normally, the lads who are getting picked up to play in the youth teams are getting picked up around 15, 16. I didn’t end up signing for anyone,” said Burn.

“I went to sixth form and went and did a little bit of work. I was working at Asda pushing trolleys.

“If you had said then that I would be in the Premier League, I would have laughed at you.

“It was good at the time because I was earning the money to do want I wanted to do at the weekends and stuff. But I always knew in the long term that I didn’t want to be there.

“It was a little bit more of a different route for me but it helped me become even more determined and focused.”

Albion manager Chris Hughton hopes cup progression will ease anxiety among the club’s supporters following a six-game winless run in the league that has sucked his side into relegation trouble.

“If there is a little bit of frustration that we’re feeling, it’s because we are going through a period where things don’t go for you,” he said.

“Any anxiety is normal and you have to accept it in the game.

“A win on Saturday would be huge for us. It’s something very exciting for supporters to look forward to.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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