Ahead of Monday night’s game against his former club Stoke City, Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Steve Sidwell insists the team won’t change their playing philosophies, after a promising start to the Premier League season.
The Seagulls can stretch their unbeaten run to five games against the Potters, and Sidwell, who spent time at the Bet365 Stadium before returning south, stressed the importance of playing to the team’s strengths.
“We were very much like that last season - two banks of four, pressing off the shape, counter attacking football.
“We’ve just got to be clinical, which is what we’re doing at the moment. Muzza [Glenn Murray] is on fire and all the boys are stepping up to the plate and enjoying it.”
The Potters will make their first visit to the Amex on Monday evening, and Sidwell praised his former side for cementing their place in the Premier League and developing their brand of football under Mark Hughes.
“They’re the ones you have to look at, they’ve set the footprint. They’re a well-established Premier League team now, because of the way they’ve gone about their business from the very start.
“I was playing in the Premier League when they got promoted, and they slowly increased their squad every year and came to terms with the division.
“That was the process when I was there, they got Bojan in, and the likes of Shaqiri and Afellay - players that like to get on the ball.
“They were tarnished with a brush under Tony Pulis, and Mark Hughes wanted to go in and change that philosophy.”
Sidwell will miss out on playing against the Staffordshire club, as he recovers from a back injury, and the 35-year-old admitted his latest setback has tested his patience, but spoke of his excitement to return.
“What I’ve learned from this injury, with it being the nerve, is that it will heal when it wants to heal. I’m doing as much as I can, but it requires a bit of patience, which I’m not really used to.
“When you see the lads going out training and playing games, you take a backseat and realise exactly what you’re missing out on.
“It’s been a frustrating one because there hasn’t been a definitive time on it. When I’ve had other injuries or operations, there’s always been more of a time frame on them.
“This one has been difficult, because you don’t always know when the light at the end of the tunnel is going to come, but it’s going in the right direction and I can’t wait to get back out there.”