Taking Grimsby lightly would be ‘big mistake' – Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi
Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi says it would be a “big mistake” to underestimate League Two Grimsby in Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final.
Town have beaten five clubs above them in the pyramid – Plymouth, Cambridge, Burton, Luton and Southampton – to land a plum tie with the high-flying Seagulls.
Nevertheless, De Zerbi admits that on paper his side have a huge opportunity to reach a Wembley semi-final.
“It will be a difficult game,” the Italian said at his pre-match press conference.
“But I want (the) players to give 100 per cent of possibilities.
“I want our fans to support our players because Sunday is a difficult game. We have to not think, ‘We are Brighton from the Premier League and Grimsby are in the fourth division’, because we would make a big mistake.
“We have to play seriously, because for us it is a big opportunity to go to Wembley.”
Brighton will be without right-back Tariq Lamptey, who suffered a knee injury against West Ham a fortnight ago.
“Tariq isn’t available, but the other players are good,” added De Zerbi. “I want to wait until tomorrow morning to decide the first XI. I want to pick the best team.”
Adam Lallana and Jakub Moder remain on the sidelines.
The Seagulls received a pre-match boost after in-form winger Solly March signed a new contract until 2026, with an additional one-year option for the club.
The 28-year-old has scored seven goals since Boxing Day, including the winner against derby rivals Crystal Palace on Wednesday night.
De Zerbi said, “It’s great news. Solly deserves this new contract. We are all happy for him and I am happy for him because I want all the great players to stay with me.”