Tariq Lamptey has thanked those around him in the Albion dressing room for the way they helped him get through lockdown earlier this year.
The fleet-footed full-back burst onto the Premier League scene in an Albion shirt in June following the restart during last season and hasn't looked back.
Reflecting on those first few weeks after joining from Chelsea in January, Lamptey said, “It was difficult for me personally, because I moved down here and was living by myself.
“I was away from family and I was used to seeing them quite a lot. I wasn't able to do that, but we kept in contact on FaceTime.
“Because of COVID my friends and family haven't been able to come down as much, but all the lads in the dressing room have been great and have helped me each day I go into the training ground.
“We have a really good group of players both on and off the field. They're always checking up on me to see how I am, and you can talk to them about anything.
“Over time I've made some great friends and I'm really happy to come to a club where I feel part of the family.
“Everyone that comes into the group gels. That's what you need as a young player in a new environment. I'm really grateful that I have that and people that really care about me at Brighton.”
Lamptey's debut came in a 0-0 draw away to Leicester City nearly six months ago after his arrival at the end of the January transfer window.
He spoke about the work he did during the months away to make sure he hit the ground running when the season resumed.
“It's difficult to say if that break helped me in terms of my impact in the team.
“I felt like I was training well before lockdown and getting to know everyone in a new environment.
“The break sort of took that away in terms of being with the lads every day. I just tried to use the time to better myself and come back in the best shape possible.
“It was important to come back mentally prepared as well because we had a big end to the season and a lot still to fight for.”
The England under-21 international reserved a special word of thanks for head coach Graham Potter, highlighting the work the head coach does with his players away from the field as well as on it.
“The boss has been a big part of me settling so well too. He'll give you a call or stop and have a chat around the building to see how you are, he's really big on the empathy side of things.
“You're a person as a well as a player and he understands that well. He always knows what to say and it's fantastic when you have someone like that who you can talk to.
“You feel like they give you an honest feedback and I'm lucky to have the coaches around me like that at the club.”
MA+ members & STH only - Log-in required