Brighton and Hove Albion attacker Alireza Jahanbakhsh started the new year in the best possible way and he hopes to continue that in the FA Cup against Sheffield Wednesday at the Amex Stadium.
Jahanbakhsh, 26, has scored twice in the last two Premier League matches, including his overhead kick equaliser against Chelsea on New Year’s Day.
Having helped Brighton gain four Premier League points in the last two matches, attention now quickly turns to the FA Cup against Garry Monk’s Sheffield Wednesday.
Jahanbakhsh was part of the Albion team last season that reached the semi-final of the cup competition and the Iranian hopes for a similar run this campaign.
“Back in the day I was always watching the FA Cup but last year I realised how important it is for football and for the football fans here in England.
“We made it so far last season and it was an incredible feeling playing at Wembley in front of the fans. It was outstanding and just a decent feeling being there.
“Performing for the club in such a stadium. It is important for us as players and the club. Every single game in the FA Cup is a nice game so hopefully we can perform and go as far as we went last year.”
Sheffield Wednesday are seventh in the Championship but struggled over the festive period, losing their last three matches to Hull, Cardiff and Stoke.
“I heard they are a very good team,” Jahanbakhsh said. “They are good as a group but have good individual players. It is going to be a difficult game. They are coming to the Amex and playing a Premier League club so they will have a lot of motivation to face us.
“We know it is definitely going to be a difficult game but we are going to be ready for it.”
Brighton head coach Graham Potter may shuffle his squad following their taxing festive period that saw them play three hugely competitive Premier League matches in six days. Glenn
Murray, who has been linked with a January move away from Albion, could get a run out having missed out from the match day squad against Chelsea.
Defender Leon Balogun, who was ill over the Christmas period and has made just one first team appearance this campaign in the Carabao Cup, could also be in contention.
Left-sided player Gaëtan Bong could also get a run-out and Solly March is also available having recovered from a groin operate .
The match kicks-off at 3.01pm - a minute later than usual to encourage fans to ‘Take A Minute’ to think about looking after their mental health, as part of the Heads Up campaign.