Nathan Jones praised the determination shown within the Brighton & Hove Albion squad and is urging the players to maintain their high standards in the race for promotion.
The Seagulls sit top of the Championship table with 38 points from 18 games - ten clear of seventh-placed Ipswich Town - but Jones is urging the players not to get too carried away.
He said, “We feel like contenders. We obviously don’t shout it from the rooftops, but we do good work and we are in good form.
“There are so many things can happen in the Championship and there will be many twists and turns in this fantastic league, but our aspirations stay the same.
“To finish in the top two is what we want, but as soon as you start to rest on your laurels, then you end up falling way short.
“We deserve to be where we are because we’ve shown a real desire to win every game and we’re playing well; hopefully we won’t fall short of that. The ten point gap can change very quickly so you just have to concentrate.”
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The first-team coach hailed the recent loan arrivals of James Wilson and Rajiv van La Parra and believes both players will have a big impact in the squad.
“They are two fantastic signings. James Wilson is a young lad who is highly thought of and he has settled in very quickly here.
“He comes with a famous profile, people know him, and he has fitted into the squad and trained very well.
“Rajiv van La Parra’s transition has been seamless; the support for anyone that comes to this club is great and we have a lot of cosmopolitan players with different experiences.
“Rajiv is Dutch and has settled in so quickly. We have such a good group that any newcomer coming in will have to be open minded and integrate; once they do then it’s like coming into a family.”
The Welshman paid tribute to Charlton after spending a year as the club’s development squad coach, and feels that his previous job with the Addicks helped him to secure a coaching role back at Brighton.
“When I was at Charlton, I was privileged to work for them, because they had great staff and players there, and they had really good academy set up. It was the bridge that helped me get here.
“The people were the heartbeat at that club. They are not picking up the results they want at the moment, even though they are still producing good players. Brighton and Charlton are very similar with their ethos and how they do things.”