Brighton & Hove Albion academy coach Steve Sidwell insists the club’s season is now just about doing enough to get over the finish line, in order to preserve their Premier League status for another season.
The Seagulls head into this weekend’s fixtures knowing safety could be secured on either Saturday or Sunday, and Sidwell assessed the team’s campaign so far, before urging the players to get the job done.
He said, “The second season is always difficult. I’ve experienced it but I don’t think hardly any of the current squad have.
“They got off to a good start and went through a spell where they won three games on the bounce, and they got to a level where they looked comfortable.
“They had around 26, 28 points for quite a while, but that mentality creeps in, where you think you only need two more wins and a couple of draws after that.
“Some would put it down to taking your foot off the gas, but I know that dressing room and the types of lads they are and the manager that’s leading them.
“It’s all about experience, we’ve learned so much from this season and now it’s just a case of getting over the line, by hook or by crook."
Chris Hughton’s side take on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon, and Sidwell, who came through the youth ranks at the north London club, commented on how the Gunners have coped with a host of recent changes.
“They’re in a transitional period — for me they’ve done unbelievably well this season, I thought they were going to really struggle for the top six.
“It wasn’t just Arsene Wenger leaving, it was the whole DNA, a whole culture, the players were used to that and there were a lot of staff that left as well.
“All season their away form has been terrible, but of late their home form has been good. It’s a difficult place to go to and they’ve got some world-class players.
“It would be nice to go there with the result taken care of at Cardiff on the Saturday — it’s the type of stadium where you'd like to release the shackles and enjoy playing against a top club.”