The Albion midfielder says the squad are as focused as ever on achieving promotion.
Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Steve Sidwell believes the club has all the attributes to mount a successful promotion charge this season, but urged his team-mates to remain focused on short-term targets.
The 33-year-old praised the attitude of Albion’s players and coaching staff, and hopes they can take inspiration from last season’s disappointment to secure an automatic promotion spot.
Speaking at the Young Seagulls Christmas Party, he said, “First and foremost, there’s a lot of determination, desire and hunger to get to the Premier League. There’s a great team spirit in the dressing room and there are no egos.
“That goes all the way through, from the players to the staff at the club, and hopefully we can learn from just missing out last season, and go one step further this time around.
“A lot of people thought last season would have given us a headache, but we’ve shown that it hasn’t. But there’s an awful long way to go and we’ve got to take one game at a time.”
Sidwell, who joined the Seagulls on a permanent deal during the summer, looked back on his loan spell last season, and encouraged his team-mates to learn from a below-par Christmas period last term.
“I came in January last season and that was probably the worst period for the club at that time. Hopefully the lads can learn from that experience and we can have a better festive period this time around.
“As players, we grow into it, it’s part and parcel of the job [busy festive period]. For the fans, it’s a great time because the games come thick and fast.
“It’s an important period and if we can get through this and into the New Year in a good position, we’ll be looking to carry on with that form.”
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Sidwell was delighted to spend time with the club’s supporters yesterday, who questioned his 50-yard strike at Ashton Gate.
“It’s nice to get the fans out, especially the children, for a signing day with the players and staff. It’s great to interact with the fans that have stuck by us since the start of the season.
“They asked me about my goal at Bristol City. There were a few ‘did I mean it?’ questions asked.
“It’s a very family-orientated football club, so it’s great to be with the fans, and they deserve it.”
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