Former Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder and current academy coach Steve Sidwell feels the club can be satisfied with the progress made so far this season in their second Premier League campaign.
Sidwell highlighted the importance of the club taking a patient approach to establishing themselves in the Premier League, replicating what the likes of Stoke City have done in the past, and AFC Bournemouth in recent years.
He said, “You’ve got to be pleased with it, and there are always going to be highs and lows in any season.
“We had three wins in a row before Christmas that propelled us into a position in the league where from the outside, people may say the lads took the foot off the gas to bring us back into a relegation battle, but it’s a test of character at that point.
“The boys have put back-to-back wins together against Huddersfield and Palace, and the FA Cup win over Millwall was a superb day.
“I’d say we’ve been on a steady incline, which is all you can ask for, and if we stay up, then it’s about building blocks. You take the same footprint that Stoke did 10 or 12 years ago and Bournemouth too. You just do it year in year out with small changes and go from there. You don’t do too much too soon.”
The former Chelsea player also spoke about his current role within the club’s academy and his work in the media, after hanging up his boots.
“I’m loving it. The coaching side of it is lovely, you’re on the grass and it keeps you sane, especially for me because I didn’t know that Atletico match was going to be my last game.
“Coming off the pitch, I never would’ve known that would be it. So that transition has been difficult, but the media stuff has been great because whether that’s radio, co-comms at different stadia, networking with different people in the industry, or being in studios, it’s been an eye-opener.
“Being on the grass with the kids is also great, because it’s a good age group as they’re leaving school and heading into their scholarship years.
“At that age, it’s about trying to prepare them for the other side of the training ground with the first team, but it’s something which I’m really enjoying.”