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Harry pleased with recovery at 'fantastic' Brighton

Harry Redknapp paid tribute to Brighton after our 3-2 friendly win on Saturday.

Harry Redknapp paid tribute to Brighton after our 3-2 friendly win on Saturday.

The match marked the official opening of the Seagulls’ new American Express Community Stadium and the home team produced a display to match the occasion in the first half.

Gus Poyet’s men took a deserved lead through Ashley Barnes after 11 minutes and it wasn’t until the impressive Jake Livermore rattled the crossbar that we started to get a foothold in the game.

Two goals in as many minutes from Younes Kaboul and Vedran Corluka changed the picture just before half-time but Brighton responded with Kazenga LuaLua’s strike levelling it on 63 minutes.

Jake made sure we had the final word when he robbed goalkeeper Peter Brezovan of possession in the area and slotted home what turned out to be the winner from 12 yards five minutes later.

Just like the 4-3 win at Orient on Friday night, Harry looked to give all 11 players 90 minutes of action and only Rafa van der Vaart failed to do so, he limped off after 33 minutes after taking a knock early in the game.

“Brighton were fantastic in the first half-hour,” said Harry.

“They were much the better team and we couldn’t get to grips with the way they played.

“In the end we scored two goals against the run of play and that changed the game.

“We had to change a bit at half-time. We let them play it out from the back in the first half and they played through us and around us but in the second half we got after them. We pushed in more and I really felt we nullified them. We were much, much better.”

As for the Amex Stadium, Harry was impressed. “It’s a fantastic stadium,” he said. “I think it’s amazing what has happened here.

“I remember going to the old Goldstone Ground and then going to the Withdean as manager of Portsmouth and playing there, it wasn’t a pretty place to go, and then coming here it’s just fantastic.

“It is a great story and they could be a real force next season. I can see them pushing on and eventually I can see Brighton being a Premier League club.”

Meanwhile, Harry reported that Luka Modric missed out through illness and that he was hopeful Rafa would recover soon. “He got a kick just above his ankle,” he added. “He felt he couldn’t play on with it so we will see how he is."