Brighton wing back Solly March believes the freedom to play and create chances has been the key to their encouraging start to the Premier League season.
Albion have four points from their first two matches and will hope for another attack-minded display against winless Southampton at the Amex Stadium on Saturday.
March, 25, made his name a winger but has featured as left wing back since the arrival of Graham Potter.
He said, “It’s a new position for me and I’m learning from every game. In previous years I’ve been playing deep, so it’s probably got me used to defending and getting into one-v-one situations.
“Getting up and down the pitch all game is tiring, so it’s very much about fitness as well. Hopefully I can push on from here.
“Positive is probably the key word [to describe Graham Potter]. When you make a mistake, he’s always encouraging and telling you to keep on trying those things.
“You’re always going to make mistakes, but we know we’ve got that behind us, so we feel free to try things, which is what you need to create chances and goals.”
March added, “In previous years the Amex has been a bit of a fortress — it’s been hard for teams to come to and take points.
“Hopefully we can make it a fortress again, stamp our authority at the Amex and get more points than we did last season.”
Southampton, who beat Brighton 1-0 at the Amex last season, are yet to register a victory this campaign. They lost on the opening day at Burnley, followed by a 2-1 home loss to Champions League winners Liverpool. The Saints have not won in the Premier in their previous seven – a run that stretches back to last season.
Competition for a place in the Albion starting XI is fierce. Neal Maupay – a £16m summer signing from Brentford - scored from the bench at during the 3-0 victory at Watford on the opening day of the season but missed a golden chance to claim victory against West Ham last Saturday after coming on as a second half substitute. Maupay is pushing for a starting spot against the Saints.
“I’ve had chances after coming on in both games and I feel good with my positioning on the pitch. I think I can do a lot more, but it’s not been a bad start.
“As a player, we always want to start games, but I’ve needed a couple of weeks of full training. I’m close to being ready to start a game, and I can’t wait to make my full debut for Brighton.”