Tomer Hemed cannot eat bread for the next few days but he has been hungry for the Premier League from the moment he joined Albion.

The Jewish striker's strong faith in his ability, his team-mates and his religion are all about to be rewarded.

The Seagulls bid to clinch promotion coincides with Passover, the Jewish festival commemorating the liberation of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery.

It began on Monday evening and finishes on Tuesday evening, by which time the prospect of facing Jose Mourinho next season could become reality for Manchester United fan Hemed and his team-mates.

He has amended his eating habits slightly in the build-up to the Easter fixtures at Wolves today and at home to Wigan on Monday to observe the traditions of Passover.

"Most things I can eat," Hemed explained. "It's just yeast. I cannot eat bread or kinds of pasta. These are very important days for Jewish people and it's important for me also.

"If I could eat nothing it would be more difficult. The things that I can't it's only for one week. I'm sure it will not affect my quality in training or the games."

The Wolves game is the second of three Friday fixtures in succession for Albion. There have been eight in total throughout the season which, along with the diet of long away trips, has curtailed a weekly ritual for Hemed.

"Every Friday evening I visit the synagogue," he said. "But of course when we are playing away on a Friday it's impossible.

"Everyone knows it is for a good reason. Most of the people in the synagogue and the Jewish community support the team. Every time they see me they ask about me.


"They really want the team to go up. They come to watch games as well. I'm happy also to represent them at the club and make them happy at the end of the season."

Hemed has made Tony Bloom, Albion's Jewish owner and chairman, happy with the return on the relatively modest investment the club made in him.

The Argus: They paid less than £1 million to land the 29-year-old target man from Almeria, the same Spanish side former goalscoring hero Leo Ulloa (second left above) was signed from before the Argentinian's move to Premier league champions Leicester.

Hemed has been a bargain. He top scored last season with 17 goals in 40 league appearances.

The Israeli international has contributed another 11 Championships goals this season - 17 in total for club and country - from 18 starts and 18 substitute appearances in all competitions, a reduction in game time arising from Glenn Murray's return from Bournemouth.

Hemed and Murray partner each other again at Molineux today in the continuing absence of the injured Sam Baldock.

Hemed set up the opening goal, Murray's 21st of the season, in last Friday's crucial win at Queens Park Rangers.

Albion are now well-placed to achieve the Premier League dream Hemed has planned for since the day he signed, even though back then they had finished 20th following Sami Hyypia's (below) ill-fated reign.

The Argus: He said: "I had the experience of the Spanish League (with Mallorca and Almeria), playing against the biggest teams.

"But I've said since my first day, I came here to go to the Premier League with Brighton.

"The season before they had not been so good in the league and people were thinking maybe it's not the right thing to say, that I was new and didn't know what I was saying.

"It's what everyone has been thinking about here every day, working hard to achieve. Now is the moment, we know how important the next month is. Every day, every training session, we need to think about it, every day, all day. All season we've been fighting for this. Now is the moment to finish it."

If they do then Hemed can look forward to another clash with Mourinho against his favourite team. He scored against the Manchester United manager's Real Madrid side for Mallorca in La Liga.

Hemed said: "As a kid I was a very big supporter of them (United). As the years go by and you become a professional, you are not a big supporter, maybe they are my favourite team in England.

"When I played in Spain it was also special for me to play against teams like Madrid and Barcelona.

"For me now also thinking about playing next season against these kind of teams is very exciting but let's wait and concentrate on the next game.

"I'll never think about it until I'm there."

Hemed is as close now as when he is able to eat bread again.