Brighton & Hove Albion defender Martin Montoya explained that the side’s upcoming home games could define their season.
The Spaniard believes it is crucial to gain results against the teams in and around the Seagulls in the table, starting with the visit of Watford on 2nd February.
He said, “In the end, the games where we need to take points are against those teams in our league, if you like, in our table.
“We need to get points against the teams outside the top six or seven, starting when we play Watford, Burnley and Huddersfield.
“Let’s get points from those games as soon as possible so we feel more comfortable in the table.
“We want to be as high as we can. We have a good team, a humble team and we will fight to be safe as soon as we can. Then, we can start looking at how high we finish.”
Montoya stressed that he would rather be looking at the teams above Albion in the table rather than looking down towards the bottom three, but is guarding against complacency.
“We are in good shape. I don’t like to think about the wrong end of the table but you have to be realistic.
“We need to think about being safe and taking points off teams in our league, our level. From then on, if we can be closer to ninth place than 13th, all the better.”
The full-back was speaking after Saturday’s narrow 2-1 defeat to Manchester United, and feels the Seagulls can be proud of their display at Old Trafford.
“At 2-0, it’s very hard at a place like Old Trafford against a team who have gone several games without losing.
“They played with confidence, they pressed us. In the second half we pressed more, got forward, made it 2-1 when there was still time left but it is very hard.
“It wasn’t to be but the team worked hard until the end at a very tough place."