Alexis Mac Allister stressed Brighton are targeting a top-10 finish in the Premier League this season after his late goal saw them secure a 2-1 victory at Burnley in the opening match of their campaign.
The Seagulls came from behind to triumph at Turf Moor as Neal Maupay cancelled out James Tarkowski’s early opener in the 73rd minute and substitute Mac Allister then slotted in five minutes later, having been brought on just after the equaliser.
Argentinian midfielder Mac Allister said on Brighton’s official website: “It’s great to start with three points. But as a team there is more to come. Our goal this season is to try to finish in the top 10 and that’s what we are working towards.”
A notable impact was made by all three substitutes Brighton boss Graham Potter sent on during Saturday’s game, the other two being Adam Lallana, introduced at half-time, and Jakub Moder, who teed up Maupay’s leveller moments after coming on.
Mac Allister added: “We spoke about making an impact as a sub before the game. The coach knows he’s got good players on the bench as well and it’s difficult to pick an 11, but as he always says we have to be prepared to come in and score or help the team.
“Every player wants to play every game and every minute. But we have fantastic players and it’s hard, but I work every day and I try to be prepared because I know that I can come on and help the team.”
Tarkowski gave Burnley the lead via a second-minute header that was allowed to stand after a VAR check, with Brighton protests that the defender had fouled Maupay before connecting with the ball proving in vain.
Maupay said: “It was 100 per cent a foul. But it’s part of the game, and the reaction was really good from me and the team and maybe in the next game a decision will go for us. I thought we played great in the second half. It was a big three points for us.”
Saturday was Maupay’s 25th birthday, and the Frenchman said: “It was a bit sad to be at the hotel and be away from my family, I’ve got a two-month-old daughter now so I couldn’t spend my birthday with her but I’m so happy. The goal was definitely for her.”
Burnley twice went close to adding to their goal, with Johann Berg Gudmundsson hitting the post and Ben Mee the bar, before Brighton’s fightback.
The final result, on the day Clarets fans returned to Turf Moor en masse for the first competitive fixture there with no restriction on attendance since March 2020, meant the team’s winless run at home extended to an 11th match.
Boss Sean Dyche, who described it as a “strange, frustrating day”, had spoken before the game about his feeling that his squad needed adding to further before the transfer window closes, with Nathan Collins and Wayne Hennessey the two signings made so far this summer.
Reports have linked Burnley with Lyon’s Maxwel Cornet, and when asked after the contest if there was any transfer update he could provide and if he would be speaking to Cornet over the weekend, Dyche said: “No. Another rumour, (like there are) about lots of players. No, as far as I know, there is nothing imminent.”
He added: “The idea is that we do want to look into the wide areas. We are lacking a bit of depth there and we are still trying to find quality as well. We are looking at the moment.”