Southampton defender Jose Fonte relishing visit of Brighton

Southampton defender Jose Fonte says he is relishing the visit of Brighton to St Mary's on Saturday.

Championship leaders Southampton were beaten to the League One title by south-coast rivals Brighton last season something that Fonte says hurt them.

The Seagulls finished three points above the Saints last season, an achievement they revelled in.

"It wasn't nice, but we had to live with it, stay professional and get the job done," Fonte told BBC South Today.

The Portuguese was not enamoured by Brighton's behaviour when his side visited the Withdean at the end of last season with the hosts already crowned League One champions.

Earlier in the season Saints manager Nigel Adkins had taunted Brighton by challenging them to keep up with his side in the race for promotion. So the Seagulls took great pleasure in mocking the visitors with music, pieces in the pre-match programme and by introducing each member of the home side as a 'champion' on the PA system before the game.

The 27-year-old, who scored a last-minute winner in the game, added: "They were champions, they were happy and how they act is up to them. We did our job, won the game and showed we were the better team."

Southampton have moved five points clear in the Championship and are on a run of three consecutive wins, while Brighton have faded following their fine start.

Fonte says he is unconcerned by Brighton's current dip in form and that his side are solely focused on their own challenge.

"We don't look at other teams, we just worry about ourselves and we want to do well for ourselves," he added.

"They have dropped down the table and hopefully we can remain consistent and won't drop too many points and won't have a bad spell."

Despite Brighton's indifferent form, Fonte is expecting an action-packed game with last season's matches, including the end of season clash, between the pair still fresh in the memory.

"It is a derby and there is still a lot of competition from last season," he said.

"At the end of the season we were only three points behind them but we wanted to beat them to the title. We had two amazing games against them last season.

"It will be a tough game for us and them and I'm sure it will be entertaining."

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