Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Alireza Jahanbakhsh believes that fans are now seeing his best form since his move to the club last summer.
Having started four of the side’s last five matches in all competitions, he emphasised that he feels as though he’s now starting to find his feet in England after a stop-start beginning to life on the south coast.
He said, “This is still my first season in England and I would have obviously liked to have played more matches.
“I knew the competition and league would be different to what I’ve had before – I had an injury then as I came back and got fit I had to leave for the Asian Cup, before getting used to the team’s style and shape again.
“My recent performances are more like me as a player – I don’t hide away, expectation is high, and I know that.
“I came here to do my best for the club – I knew I’d need time to develop, but things have happened which I didn’t expect, but the more I play and the more time I get on the pitch, things will continue to get better.”
Chris Hughton’s side have won four of their last five matches in all competitions, with back-to-back league wins over Huddersfield Town and Crystal Palace being followed by an Emirates FA Cup quarter-final victory over Millwall nearly a fortnight ago.
Jahanbakhsh spoke of the positive mood around the Albion dressing room at the moment and looked ahead to a busy upcoming sequence of matches.
“The camp has a good atmosphere around it at the moment given the three wins we’ve had, they’ve given us good confidence because we knew how crucial the matches were – especially the league ones.
“The game against Millwall was a great comeback to give ourselves an opportunity to go to Wembley and play in the last four of the competition, which is really nice too.
“This upcoming period is very important for us, so we have to use the current mood to go into it – we’ll hopefully then enjoy it and get more points.”
The Seagulls face Southampton at the Amex Stadium tomorrow afternoon looking to pull further away from the Saints – who currently sit one place and three points behind Albion in the Premier League table.
The Iranian midfielder emphasised the significance of the game against Southampton being on home soil, highlighting the side’s strong home form so far this term.
“Every game between now and the rest of the season is crucial – home advantage is something we always have to make the most of.
“It’s a strength of ours and we have to continue that, away games are very tough in this league.
“We have to make sure we always keep confident focused in what is a busy time – we have a lot of games in this period over the next month.”