Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Alireza Jahanbakhsh was pleased to get his first competitive action as an Albion player in Tuesday’s 1-0 win over OGC Nice in the south of France.
A second-half goal from Viktor Gyokeres separated the two sides in Albion’s penultimate match of pre-season and having played the opening half of the contest, the Iranian reflected on his debut for the club.
He said, “First and foremost I was happy to get some minutes under my belt for the club, because the last game I played was my country’s final one in the World Cup.
“I didn’t have much of a pre-season, so it was quite tough, but the main thing for me was playing my first game.
“I’m happy but I still want to get fitter and adjust to my new surroundings – that will come in time but to get out in to the pitch was the main thing for me.”
Having joined the club from AZ Alkmaar last Wednesday, Jahanbakhsh joined up with his new teammates for the trip to France – and he was full of praise for the welcome he’d been given by the rest of the side.
“All the boys have been great and I’ve settled quickly.
“They’re a good group and I got a good first impression, as time goes on we’ll get to know each other more.
“Over time you then begin to develop a better understanding of one another’s games and personalities – it’s still only my first week so I’m still learning.
“It does take some time and we have new players, but my first impressions are really good and I’m very happy to be here.”
The new Premier League campaign kicks off on Saturday 11th August when Chris Hughton’s side visit Vicarage Road to take on Watford, and the midfielder looked ahead to the period between now and the side’s first game of the season.
“Between now and the start of the season I know I’ll now I need to work hard and get to a good level of fitness, it’s very important for me.
“I know I’ll have to work hard to get to the same level as the rest of the group and it’s a challenge I’m looking forward to.
“The start of the season will be great and as a player you relish the sort of competition that the Premier League brings every year – it’s really exciting.”