Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Pascal Gross believes that his decision to join the club at the start of the summer has benefited him during his debut season in the Premier League.
The midfielder, who arrived from Inglostadt in May, has five goals and eight assists so far for the season ahead of tomorrow’s game with Huddersfield Town, and he pointed to being settled and familiar with his surroundings as being a key factor in that form ahead of the contest.
He said, “For me I was happy to make an early decision where I was playing, especially when I was changing country and had to learn a new culture whilst settling down and finding a house.”
"I had a lot of time to organise that and concentrate on my football - my style of assisting or creating chances requires you to understand your team-mates and know how they play, how they make their runs, what they are used to.
“That means it was a good decision and every training session helps you and makes you better. I had the time and the pre-season games to build a relationship with my team-mates so it was good for me.”
The German is occupying a lofty position in the charts for assists and goals – sitting ahead of some perceived bigger names within the division.
The midfielder insisted that he didn’t foresee such a successful campaign with having to contend with a new division – but he never doubted his abilities on the pitch.
“Of course it's nice to hear sometimes stats like that – but if we stay up I am very happy with my first season.
"When you come you don't expect that it will go so well, I know I can create chances and assist goals, that's my big strength.
"You never know how it will go but I'm very pleased - I wished it would go like this but you can't expect it in the first year.”
Despite having received widespread acclaim for his performances so far this season, Gross was keen to highlight the fact that survival was more important to him than personal accolades and recognition.
He also explained how he has fitted into a different formation used by Chris Hughton in previous weeks – one which has seen the former Bundesliga player occupy a deeper role in recent matches.
“That is also my style of playing football. I work very hard, but I'm a team player and it's a team sport.
“First of all I think about what we want to achieve as a team and then if we achieve it the individual things can come after.
"We played a different shape a little bit in the last few weeks, and it has been more of a 4-3-3."
“For me both systems are okay and I can play in both of them. I'm a little bit more of a midfielder, not so high up the pitch, but not a massive difference."