Former Brighton & Hove Albion loanee Liam Ridgewell believes the Amex could hold the key to a successful first season in the Premier League.
The Portland Timbers defender, who spent six weeks with the Seagulls during the 2015/16 season, has played the majority of his career in the Premier League and believes a good home record is imperative at the highest level.
He said, “If you can pick up a decent number of points at home it gives you something to build on – certainly at this level – so it’s important the crowd and players turn the Amex into a fortress, like they did in the Championship.
“It’s obviously a nice place for teams to visit, but get a few wins at home and there won’t be many teams looking forward to a visit to the coast on a cold January evening.”
As Albion prepare to face West Bromwich Albion, another of Ridgewell’s former clubs, he feels a Seagulls win will provide a massive confidence boost as the players continue their top-flight induction.
“I can’t emphasise enough how important those first three points are; they give you the belief that you belong, that you are good enough to play at this level, and you build from there.
“It’s been a tough start but I believe that after ten games or so, it will be a different story. I’ve got full confidence in the lads that when they pick up that first win, they can really kick on...”
*You can read much more from Liam in tomorrow’s 100-page matchday magazine, available in and around the Amex, priced £3.50.