Sidwell prepared for roller-coaster ride in the Premier League

Steve Sidwell. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Steve Sidwell. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

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Albion midfielder Steve Sidwell says every point will be vital in the Premier League League next season.

Sidwell, who first played for the club on loan from Arsenal in 2002/03 – scoring five goals in 12 games – joined the Seagulls on loan from Stoke in January, 2016, before signing a one-year deal last summer.

He has played in the top flight of English football for the majority of his career, with Reading, Chelsea, Aston Villa, Fulham and Stoke and the 34-year-old has been offered a new contract to run out in the top flight with Brighton next season.

He said: "It’s going to be a roller-coaster of a ride. This year, you look at our wins and losses and we’ve had 30-odd wins and seven losses, next year it’s more than likely that will almost be reversed.

“It’s always easier when you’re winning and top of the league. The team spirit and togetherness is always there, next year when we’re having a run of games where we might go seven or eight of not getting a win, it’s important we stick together.

“We’ll need to keep that team spirit there, this year you sometimes take for granted a win, no disrespect to some teams but you sometimes say ‘if we’re at home, we’ll win today’. Next year, every point is vital and especially every win.

“The quicker we get them on the board, the better.”

On the differences the squad will find between the Championship and Premier League, Sidwell said: “The Championship is a real grind, that’s the easiest way to put it. You’re playing Friday, Tuesday, Saturday, Monday, it’s relentless. Games come thick and fast.

“With the Premier League, the games are once a week near enough but they take it out of you. It’s full-on, you’re coming up against the best opposition in the world, not just in England.

“It’s key we get wins on the board as early as possible to give ourselves the best possible chance.”

After playing at the Withdean in his first spell with the club, Sidwell is delighted to see how far the club has progressed in a short time.

He said: “It’s amazing and that’s testament to the owner, the board, the fans, everyone that wanted to get this football club in the right direction.

“Who’d have thought that when I was here 14 or 15 years ago at the Withdean, in the portacabin and with the running track around it, that we’d be in this fantastic stadium, playing Premier League football this year.

“It’s full credit to everyone that has pushed it in the right direction and obviously we’ve done the business on the pitch. Now it’s going to be the hardest part of staying there.”

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