Alireza Jahanbakhsh's comeback story is an 'inspiration', says Brighton and Hove Albion captain Lewis Dunk

Albion skipper Lewis Dunk believes the attitude displayed by Alireza Jahanbakhsh can serve as inspiration for the entire squad.

Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 3:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 8th January 2020, 10:17 am
Lewis Dunk celebrates with Alireza Jahanbakhsh after his strike against Chelsea

Just two weeks ago Jahanbakhsh's Albion career looked in serious jeopardy and many predicted a January move away from the Amex for the Iran striker.

But two goals in his last two Premier League matches - including a remarkable overhead kick against Chelsea - has put him firmly in contention for a starting role at Everton.

Dunk, who won the initial header in the box to tee-up Ali's strike against Chelsea, was delighted to see his teammate among the goals at last. "He's two goals in two and he's deserved it. He has not given up and worked his socks off in training," said the Albion skipper.

"He never let it get to him and took his chance. That is how we need our whole squad, to perform and be ready when called upon. Massive credit to him to keep going for the two years he has been here.

"You need that attitude. Not just resting and think I have not got a chance and give up. You need everyone fighting for their place. It is tough for the manager picking the side and that is how we want it and that's how he wants it as well.

"He doesn't want it be easy to pick his 11 players. The whole squad has to be available and ready to go for it. It has been hard for Ali and for others. But they just have to keep working hard and you never know with this manager.

"He will throw you in and it can change quickly. A week in football is a long time and you just have to keep on going."

Everton are just one point above Brighton but Graham Potter's team have a chance to complete the double over them, having beaten then 3-2 in pulsating match at the Amex in October.

"We dropped our standards in the FA Cup against Sheffield Wednesday," said Shane Duffy who started his career at Everton. "Now it is all about the reaction. We have to put it right on Saturday.

"We got a win against Bournemouth and then a point against Chelsea so hopefully we can get on a little run. They have got a little momentum in the league and so have we. Hopefully we will get a strong squad back and we will be full of confidence going there. We have nothing to fear. We will give it a go and try and play the way we have done.

Duffy also expects an improved Everton team since the recent appointment of Ancelotti.

"Ancelloti shows the ambition of the club. That's what the new owners wanted and now they are getting it. You will probably see a few new signings and they will want to kick on in the next couple of years."