Izquierdo eager to build on first Albion goal

Jose Izquierdo battles for possession with West Hams Michail Antonio last Friday. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Jose Izquierdo battles for possession with West Hams Michail Antonio last Friday. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Albion’s record signing Jose Izquierdo is keen to build on his first goal for the club.

The 25-year-old Columbian winger opened his account for the Seagulls in the 3-0 victory at West Ham last Friday. He cut in from the left and fired home into the top corner – despite England keeper Joe Hart getting a hand to the ball – to score Albion’s second in the win at the London Stadium.

Izquierdo joined Brighton from Club Brugge for a reported £13.5m fee in August and was delighted to get off the mark for the club.

He scored 15 goals in the Belgian League last season and said: “I’m very happy and it’s motivation to keep working and I hope this will be the first goal of many.

“Normally if I have the opportunity to shoot, I will take it because it is my best ability – my speed and my shots – and today I had the opportunity to show it.”

Izquierdo says the club’s first target is to stay in the Premier League this season. They sit 12th in the top flight with 11 points from nine games, ahead of Sunday’s home match with Southampton. He said: “We are working to stay in the Premier League, that’s the first goal and then we will see what happens.

“We have big players and tonight we showed the quality we have. When we can play, we will play and today we took our opportunities.

“Every game you have the possibility to win but it’s the Premier League and you never know what could happen.

“We work every week to give 100 per cent at the weekend and I think we showed that. We supported (each other) in the difficult moments and we take the result. The team spirit is unbelievable. Everyone worked for every ball in defence and attack and then we took the points.”

The victory at West Ham was Albion’s first away win in the top flight of English football for 34 years.

Home form is going to be key for the club, though, and Izquierdo said: “You will have pressure wherever you play and you have to manage that. But we feel comfortable at home, we have big support and we give this result to them.”

Izquierdo is enjoying living in the city, too, and said: “It’s good, I like Brighton and I like the people. It’s nice here and I’m very happy.”

Albion’s home match with Southampton kicks-off at 1.30pm on Sunday.