Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Dale Stephens says that working under new head coach Graham Potter so far has been an enjoyable experience.
The Seagulls face FC Liefering today in their first game of pre-season to round off a week-long camp in Austria, and the 30-year-old reflected on his time with the new management team since their arrival at the end of May.
He said, “It’s different, I’ve played under quite a few managers, and it’s nice to see new ideas and how different managers work.
“I’ve had five-and-a-half years here, and in that time we’ve generally had a lot of success, so I look back on it positively.
“I met the new manager in the summer off-season, and he met with a few of the players as well. It’s been good to train with him and he’s a very good coach, as he’s brought in new ideas to the club and it’s quite refreshing.”
The Seagulls finished in 17th position in the top-flight last term, with Stephens playing 35 matches in the process across all competitions.
He looked back on his journey to the top division, as well as moving the focus forward to what he hopes to achieve in the future.
“I’m still living the dream, but it was always my ambition, I’m lucky to play at this club in this league, but I feel like I’ve deserved it,” he continued.
“I’ve played at every level from Conference North through to the Premier League. I still want to improve at this football club, and with the manager’s ideas, I can carry on learning.
“I feel comfortable at this level now, but I also want to improve. I’ve just turned 30 this year and I want to get better, if I know I’m going to play, I don’t want to rest on that, I want players to put me under pressure to improve my game as well.
“Every player wants to play as much as possible and I’ve been used to that for five-and-a-half-years other than the few months I was out with injury, but the aim is to play as many minutes as possible, particularly at the highest level I can."