(Reuters) - Promoted Brighton & Hove Albion must not get carried away by their promising start to the Premier League campaign as they prepare for Sunday’s home clash with south-coast rivals Southampton, manager Chris Hughton said on Friday.
Brighton beat West Ham United 3-0 away last Friday to collect their first win on the road this season and move up to 12th after a 1-1 draw at home to Everton the previous weekend.
“There is always that potential of over confidence, but it is my job to make sure we are level-headed and preparation is right going into every game,” Hughton told a news conference.
“What we have learnt so far in this division is if your performance levels are like they were at West Ham, then you have a great chance of winning those games.
“Southampton are a wonderfully gifted team and that makes it a very difficult game on Sunday. They have the ability to play the game a certain way and I don’t think they will change that.”
Brighton’s Israel striker Tomer Hemed is available after his three-match suspension but Hughton said midfielder Steve Sidwell “could be out for a while” with a back injury.
“It is a huge boost (to have Hemed back),” he added.
“He has been very good since he last played for us. He played twice during the international break which helped him so in regards to his level.”
Striker Sam Baldock and Hemed’s Israel team mate, midfielder Beram Kayal, are playing again after suffering a calf injury and broken leg respectively. They have featured for the under-23s but are unlikely to be in the first-team squad this weekend.
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris