Solly March has revealed the spring international break was the catalyst to Albion's impressive climax to the season.
The Seagulls lost six successive Premier League games prior to the break in mid-March, but responded with just one defeat from their final nine fixtures, including notable wins against European-chasing Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester United and West Ham.
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“It was a good international break and we used it well,” revealed the wing-back. “We had a few meetings, discussed a lot of things within the team, and one of them was to try and be more positive – to play forward passes and get on the front foot more.
“It definitely has changed a lot; when we win the ball back, that first pass is now forward. It picks the team up, it picks the fans up and everyone gets behind you.
“If you’d said ten or 12 games ago that we’d be in this position, with 51 points, we’d have snapped your hand off, or people would have laughed at us, but it’s all down to the effort and hard work that everyone’s put in – it’s all come together. Ninth in the Premier League, with some of the teams we’ve finished above, is a great achievement.”
March has been a key component in the side’s more recent impressive performances, but he hasn’t been surprised to see his form pick up so dramatically.
“I’ve had a run of games and that’s the key,” he pointed out. “Once you get that run it’s a lot easier to get into your rhythm and build your confidence. Before that it was a bit stop-start so it was hard for me to get into the games, but it’s been a good end to the season and hopefully I can build on that and come out flying next season.”