IT CAME AS A SHOCK
Just before I left England I was in a barber shop, getting ready to come home for the holidays. A Brighton fan was also at the barbers and after finishing his haircut he made a noise like, ‘Oh my God!’ I looked up and asked ‘What?’ And he said, ‘They’ve sacked Chris Hughton’.
We have a WhatsApp group for the players and I was the first person to put a message in there after I heard the news, something like ‘incredible about the gaffer’. A few boys were messaging, ‘What’s happened?’
I couldn’t believe it. It came as a shock. I always had the upmost respect for Chris as a manager and as a man. He’s done great things, not only at Brighton but at other times in his managerial career. He gave me an opportunity at Brighton to fulfil my dream of being a Premier League player.
I tried to repay that faith in doing the best I could for him and to hold him in high regard. I wish him all the best for the future.
It’s the nature of the business we’re in sometimes. In saying all that, I have full faith in the club that they have the club’s best interests at heart and the team’s best interests at heart.
When it comes time to go back to training, I’ll be doing everything I can to prove to the new manager Graham Potter that I’m the best man for the job and contribute, hopefully, to the success of the team.
I watched more rugby league than football. It was on TV a lot more in prime time in Sydney. To this day, I’d probably prefer watching a Parramatta game to most football games.
Every player experiences this at some point. It’s already happened to me a couple of times. You’ve got to roll your sleeves up and keep trying to prove your worth.
If you are doing that, and the other players are doing that, it can raise the level of the team.
When it comes time to go back for pre-season, with a new coach everyone starts from zero again. But I’m confident in my own ability and I’ll work as hard as I can to prove I’m the best man for the job.
For now, I’ll be switching off and enjoying spending time with my loved ones, which I don’t get to do often - going out and having some nice meals with them, a few drinks. Being a normal human being who enjoys their holidays.
There’s obviously a lot of sacrifice and dedication in what I do, especially the person I am and how I do it, so I’m looking forward to kicking back and enjoying life away from football.
Even so, I don’t let go as much as perhaps others do when it comes to diet. I’m still very conscious and I feel guilty quite quickly. I don’t really let myself go.
LIVERPOOL TO WIN IT
Will I watch the Champions League final on Sunday? Maybe if I’m coming home from the nightclub! I’ll see where I am at, but I might be up for it.
My tip is a 2-0 win to Liverpool. They’ve been defensively strong most of the season, so I think they will keep a clean sheet and their attacking talent is obvious.