Legendary former England and Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard praised the way in which Brighton & Hove Albion have worked their way up to the Premier League.
Lampard spoke after taking part in a question and answer session with Albion's academy players, and feels the club has progressed in the right manner.
“I was here for the first game against Manchester City, and there was a great atmosphere at the stadium. The club has a brilliant training facility too, which bodes well; it’s not a short-term thing, it’s a long-term vision.
“I’m well aware of the story of how the fans dug in to save the club many years ago, and it’s a great story.
“This is a club I have a great feeling for and I hope they manage to be successful, stay up and keep moving in the right direction.”
Chelsea’s record goalscorer believes the togetherness within the Albion squad will carry them far as they continue their top-flight journey.
“As much as Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City make the Premier League what it is, so do the likes of Brighton and Burnley.
“Other leagues don’t have the same competitive nature. A team fighting relegation can give the top teams a tough game.
“We need to embrace the fact that Brighton are here, not through spending millions and millions of pounds, but through sticking with a squad that’s got them there in the first place. You want to see positive results for them.
“They play as a team, which was their real strength last year. With the spirit they have, they’ve got every chance.”
The former England international also spoke about yesterday’s event and hopes the club’s younger players will take his words on board.
“At that age you have to be a sponge. I had a behind-the-scenes insight at West Ham because my dad was there and I was able to see how the first-team players trained and how they did things.
“It was nice to give back to some of the younger players here; I spoke about putting in the hard work, and being willing to listen and work hard on all aspects of your game.
"I want them to think how about how they can ultimately end up playing a first-team game for Brighton.”