Chris Hughton vows to keep Brighton grounded as tricky winter run approaches
Manager Chris Hughton has said Brighton must not forget the bigger picture as they look to build on a positive opening to the Premier League season.
Stoke are the visitors at the Amex Stadium on Monday night, when the Seagulls will be seeking to extend a four-match unbeaten run.
The sequence includes away wins at West Ham and then Swansea before the international break.
Brighton have been on some journey since they last played in the top flight 34 years ago, during which the south-coast club were left homeless following the sale of the Goldstone Ground and fought back from the brink of liquidation.
After finding themselves up as high as eighth place ahead of the international break, Hughton is determined to keep everyone grounded.
His side are setting off on a testing run of fixtures which will take in matches against Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham before a trip to Chelsea on Boxing Day.
"We have surpassed my expectations with where we are at this stage of the season," Hughton said.
"I am delighted with it, but you just don't know how you're going to fare before the campaign, it was our first start in the Premier League and it is about sustaining it now.
"I have been delighted by both the points total and the way we have conducted ourselves in matches as well."
Hughton, who was appointed at Brighton on New Year's Eve 2014, is no stranger to keeping things in perspective, having taken Newcastle back up to the top flight and later helping Norwich retain their Premier League status.
"We have done the big part of that (staying focused on our job) last season, from getting from the Championship to the Premier League which is where we want to be," the 58-year-old said, quoted on Brighton's official website.
"Now it is about developing this team and developing this club that can be a club that can stay there."
Hughton added: "With where we are and where we have come from, I don't think we'll be favourites too often ahead of matches, but we have played at a level to put ourselves where we are at the moment and so we have to focus on that."