Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Davy Propper believes that the partnership between himself and Dale Stephens is the finest he has experienced in his career.
One of the key influences of Albion’s success in their debut season in the top flight has been the forging of partnerships across the pitch that have come through individuals playing consistently throughout the side.
An example of that has been the relationship that has developed between Propper and Stephens, and ahead of today’s game against Everton at Goodison Park, the summer arrival discussed his progression during his first season in England.
He said, “I remember my first day and it was difficult in the first few matches of the season – I didn’t have as great an understanding with my teammates as I do now, and we were struggling a little bit in the league as well.
“From there we’ve grown and now we’re a great team. My partnership with Dale (Stephens) is probably the best of my career – but it’s the first time I’ve played in a formation with two holding midfielders – it’s usually been in a three-man midfield back in Holland.
“Both me and Dale are underrated, and I think it’s important we keep the form going together - not being in the spotlight so much is definitely a good thing for us.”
The Seagulls sit tenth in the Premier League with nine matches of the season left to play – and having gone unbeaten in their last seven contests in all competitions, the Dutchman emphasised that the trip to Merseyside this afternoon was one to relish.
“We feel like we can go and express ourselves this weekend after our last few games.
“I think we can be very happy with where we are so far this season – at Christmas we had a bit of a tough spell but we’ve kept going.
“We’ve picked up points and at the moment we’re confident and that’s because we stuck to what we were doing and didn’t change much.
“We are always growing as a team – the win last weekend against Arsenal shows how far we’ve come this season and we are very happy with our form.”
The central midfielder pointed to the spirit, morale and togetherness within the dressing room as all being key factors in the side’s recent good form, and stressed that now the team must look up the league rather than over their shoulders.
“If we can finish where we are now, it would be great – every one of us do things as a team and that’s the most important thing – it’s in everything we do.
“From now on we must look up rather than down and keep trying to pick up points to stay away from the bottom.
“We know it’s difficult to deem when you’re supposedly safe so we must keep going over the last nine games – we have plenty of opportunities to get more points.
“Everton this afternoon are a good side with great players – but we are confident and we’re going there to win the game.”