Dean Hammond has warned his former Brighton teammates to expect a difficult afternoon at St Mary’s tomorrow.

Midfielder Hammond, 26, has been outstanding for Saints since his summer move from Colchester United.

He cannot wait for the chance to maintain it against the club where he graduated from youth team player to captain.

With Saints unbeaten in eight games, Hammond is in confident mood ahead of the Seagulls’ visit.

He said: “Some of their boys watched us on Sky the other night so I think they’re a little bit worried! There’s a buzz around the club at the moment, we’re on a great run and they’re not doing so great.

“It’s not really a derby as there’s no viciousness between the two clubs, but Brighton is where I grew up and learnt my trade and I’ve got a couple of good mates there so it’s an important game in that way.

“They’ll be up for it because they’ll want to impress Gus Poyet so it’s going to be interesting.”

Hastings-born Hammond scored 26 goals in 139 starts for Brighton, an impressive record from midfield, and bagged his first two for Saints in back-to-back wins against Oldham and MK Dons last month.

Saints have scored at least two goals a game during their unbeaten run and are looking forward to displaying more of their attacking flair in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

“I expect there’ll be a few goals and hopefully more for us,” continued Hammond. “It obviously helps that we’ve got players like Rickie Lambert and David Connolly but if we’re going to be successful and do anything this season, we need goals coming from all areas.

“A lot of new players have come in so it’s taken a bit of time to settle but we’re gelling and getting to know each other better.”

Saints’ versatility has been evident in recent weeks.

“We work hard in training and we’re confident in what we’re doing,” continued Hammond. “The gaffer wants us to play a certain way but we can adapt when things aren’t going well.

“In certain games we’ve started in a certain way but have finished with a different formation and ended up winning the game.

“We’ve got players who can have an impact off the bench and that always helps."

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