sport

Ward hails Brighton spirit

Stephen Ward is hopeful Brighton can make the most of their final day heroics to claim a place in the Premier League.

The Seagulls were outside the Sky Bet Championship play-off places during the closing stages of Saturday's showdown but Leonardo Ulloa popped up to earn them a 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest, a result which lifted them above Reading.

Their reward is a play-off semi-final clash with Derby County, who finished 13 points ahead of Brighton during the regular season, and Ward knows that is going to be a tough tie to get through.

"Everyone is in this together and everyone wants to win - it's been like that all season, but it particularly showed here," said Ward, who scored Brighton's equaliser on Saturday.

"We could have easily folded but to go right to the end is a real credit to the boys.

"The squad is very tight knit and everyone gets on. We have a fantastic team spirit and that really pulled us through.

"We have two tough games against a team that have been fantastic all season and we'll have to be on our game to turn them over.

"It's all about who turns up on the day now. It's a one-off chance to get to the Premier League and we're delighted to be there and hopefully we will make the most of it."