Sam Baldock is enjoying a new lease of life at Brighton & Hove Albion this season and believes a tough first season at the club helped him become a better and more versatile player.
The frontman goes into tonight's game against former club Bristol City, pleased with the part he has played in an impressive start to the campaign, and confident of regaining his goalscoring touch.
He said, “I’m playing in a position where I like to be playing; I’m able to play with a bit of freedom as well, and Tomer Hemed is allowing me to get into different positions or find spaces elsewhere.
“I’m not scoring the goals that strikers get judged on, but if I’m not contributing on the pitch then I’ll be the first to say that I’m struggling. I feel that I have gained confidence in creating chances and I’m working hard in the shape of the team.
“I have become very adaptable and have learnt how other players and managers like to play.
“I’m quite a resilient character in terms of the knocks we’ve had last year and the personal knocks that I’ve had throughout my time here.”
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The 26-year-old feels that he and the rest of the squad can take confidence from Saturday’s 2-1 win at Leeds despite not being at their best and says he is happy to play anywhere to benefit the team.
“I think game by game we’re getting stronger, but Saturday was the off occasion and it was probably our poorest performance of the season.
“But coming away with three points at Elland Road after not playing very well is something that we can thrive on.
“I moved out wide and had to put an extra shift in; the manager knows what my preferred position is, but he also knows that I can operate out wide.
“I don’t anticipate playing out wide too much with the quality of wingers we have; Liam Rosenior has come in on the right and he has been brilliant out wide for us.
“The distance he covers and the chances he creates for us is outstanding. We also have Jamie Murphy, Solly March, Inigo Calderon, and Kazenga LuaLua who can also create a lot”.
Baldock then looked ahead to the match against his former employers, Bristol City tonight and is confident that the Robins will eventually steer themselves further away from the bottom three.
“They’re a very good team, I know that first hand, and I know almost all of their players on a personal level as well.
“They have been playing well from what I’m hearing, but they’re not picking up the results, apart from Friday where they started really quickly.
“They were a threat throughout the game and we have to be wary of that. They’re going to be well organised and also have great pace upfront, so the press will come high and fast.
“We won’t be able to take anything for granted and they’re a team that I tip to finish in the top half this season.”