Brighton & Hove Albion boss Sami Hyypia says that his side will go into Saturday’s game without fear ahead of their match against Derby County at the iPro Stadium.
The Rams sit top of the Sky Bet Championship table having scored 35 goals in their opening 19 games, but Hyypia has been encouraged by Albion’s displays against some of the top sides this season.
He told seagulls.co.uk, “They are top of the table so they must be a good side, but I don’t actually care where they are in the league. I analyse the opposition in terms of the qualities that they have and not their position in the league.
“They are a team with energy that try to play with a high tempo both with and without the ball. They have some good players up front, so we need to be strong in one against one situations and stop them from getting into their rhythm.
“We don’t have to fear them just because they are top of the league. We have played a few sides that are near the top of the table and we have done okay against them. I am feeling very positive and optimistic going into the game, even though we are missing a few players.
“We can’t let them play to their strengths. If we stop the flow of their game then we’ll have a good chance. Leeds beat them last weekend so why can’t we beat them this weekend?”
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The Finn also believes that his side can play without added pressure against the Rams, as the hosts go into the match as strong favourites.
“We are looking to turn a corner. It might be a good time to go there because everyone knows Derby’s qualities and the players need to be alert for 90 minutes to get something out of the game.
“Sometimes it’s better to have this kind of game as opposed to one where you might be expected to dominate and then take it too easy.
“It’s not a nice position to be in at the moment, but once we get over this period we will become stronger. In football and in life you have some difficulties, but they make you stronger and you learn from them.
“If you are feeling down in these moments then you need to stay positive and just work on what you can control.
“It is the small things that are going against us and on many occasions this is the difference between us winning and losing. We need to turn these things in our favour.”