Bobby Zamora declared that Brighton & Hove Albion fully warrant their place at the peak of the Championship.
Second-placed Middlesbrough are in action tomorrow, but the Seagulls remain four points clear at the top after the 2-2 draw with Bolton Wanderers and the striker has called on his side to maintain the high standards that have already been set.
"From the way we have been playing we deserve to be top, although we weren't at our best [against Bolton] we still created chances and put two of them away - but it is a long, long season and they'll be plenty of ups and downs along the way.
"I have been impressed with the team for sure and we need to maintain the standards we have been setting, keep the momentum, get a bit of luck and maintain the togetherness we already have."
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Zamora agreed with manager Chris Hughton that Jamie Murphy should not have been sent off but also felt the game should have been won regardless of the dismissal.
"I don't think we played that well and we have all said that but at 2-0 up you shouldn’t give the game away.
"The red card was a slip and I think everyone in the stadium could see that. That added to the pressure and made it an uphill struggle to keep the three points but it is still slightly disappointing not to get the win."