Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi vows to maintain his passion despite red card

Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi will not curb his levels of passion but has conceded a “problem” is developing for him in the Premier League.

De Zerbi could face a third touchline ban of the season after his red card in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Tottenham and will wait with bated breath to discover what the Football Association decide when they review a 58th-minute incident between the two benches.

While the former Sassuolo and Shakhtar Donestk boss was not the main protagonist in the melee, his disciplinary record of four yellow cards and now two sending-offs this campaign could count against him.

But De Zerbi insisted: “One part of my characteristic and character is passion.

“I can’t lose this passion. The most important is to respect everyone and you can’t find one person who say I didn’t respect him.

“No, I don’t like to get red card. I don’t know. I can stay more relaxed? I don’t know.

“I am the same in Italy, in Ukraine, in Champions League with Shakhtar, in Premier League and here there is a problem. The smart people can adapt different habits no?

“Premier League is a top league in Europe and for me it is an honour to work here but I want to stay and I want to keep my character. I want to keep (being) myself.”

The two matches De Zerbi has watched from the stand this season have resulted in emphatic wins for Brighton with 4-0 and 5-0 victories achieved over West Ham and Grimsby respectively.

He backed his staff to cope fine if he was absent for Saturday’s trip to Chelsea or worst the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United, but did let his frustration be known over a number of decisions in the narrow defeat at Spurs.

Kaoru Mitoma and Danny Welbeck had goals disallowed for debateable handball calls while the former had a strong penalty appeal turned down when the score was 1-1 despite contact by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

“Yes I believe in my staff, I believe in my players. It is not a problem if I will stay on the bench or not,” De Zerbi added.

“I am sad for this and disappointed for the decision of red card but I have to accept.

“Sometimes I ask myself if the rules are the same in Italy, in Ukraine, in the Champions League and in the Premier League because I was in the dressing room when (it) was the Mitoma situation.

“I think it was clear, very clear but I don’t know. It is finished and we have to think for the next game.

“To play this type of performance, this type of game in Tottenham’s stadium, we have to be proud.”

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