In his second Premier League game for Albion, Pascal Gross was buffeted by Harry Maguire.

The physicality compared to the Bundesliga had a lasting impression on the German.

He adapted after that defeat at Leicester and became pivotal to Albion's first season survival.

So we should not be too hard on Bernardo, the boy from Brazil, who endured a torrid baptism at Watford.

He started at left-back, then soon switched to right-back when Bruno was injured.

Regardless of which side of the pitch he was on, it was a sharp learning curve for the 23-year-old summer signing from Red Bull Leipzig, both in terms of the opponents and officials he will encounter this season.

Bernardo (below pictured by Paul Hazlewood/BHAFC) admitted: "It was tough at the weekend but it's not the team we know we can be. We didn't play as we can. It was a really poor performance and we're much better than that.

The Argus: "It It wasn't awkward (switching position), because I have played many times on the right side. What was awkward was the feeling.

"Even on the left side I was still adapting and still realising how this English football works.

"It's very different. Many long balls, a lot of duels, also the criteria of the referee is something I need to understand.

"I'm not criticising. I'm just saying it's different the way the referee behaves here to Germany.

"For example, some duels are fouls, others are not, sometimes a guy pulls you and it is not (a foul).

"Also, for example, in Germany if there is a long ball both players, the one who is attacking and the one defending, go to the ball to head the ball.

"Here there is a lot of pre-contacts before you head the ball, so that's something I need to get used to. There is not an easy way to learn this lesson but I think I've already understood how it works. I will analyse the match many times and be better prepared for the whole season."

Bernardo, the only new signing who started at Watford, will probably be back on the left for his Amex debut against Manchester United on Sunday (4pm), with Martin Montoya (below) poised to replace Bruno on the other side of the defence.

The Argus: Albion beat United in the last home game last season. Bernardo is not shying away from the challenge of completing a double in the first home game of the new campaign.

"I'm really excited," he said. "There is a good and a bad part. We want to get some points and it is more difficult to get them against the very powerful clubs.

"But there is a good point also. I'm here because of that, because I want to play against the best clubs, on the highest level.

"We have a good team and we can faze them. In the Premier League every single matchday you see in theory a smaller club beating a bigger one, that's why football is such an amazing sport.

"It's not like basketball or other sports where 99 per cent of the time the favourite's winning. Different things happen. It happened last season and it's possible."

It may take a little time for Bernardo to become accustomed to the demands of the Premier League but he has settled quickly on the south coast.

The first Brazilian to play at senior level for the club, he was predictably popular with autograph and mobile image hunters at Monday's annual open training session for supporters.

"It was amazing," Bernardo said. "It was a training session after a not very good start and we had all the fans, all the support, all the kids especially because they are on holiday. It was a really nice atmosphere.

"English people told me the people in Brighton are different than most of the other people from England. I don't know if that is true or not but everyone is very friendly.

"Actually, people here are politer than Brazilian people, the way they approach you, always respectful. I don't know if it's the sun, the beach or something in the air but people here are really, really nice."

Bernardo could be accompanied by one or two more of the new signings against United. Yves Bissouma and Alireza Jahanbakhsh are pushing for starts after late cameos from the bench at Watford.

The Argus: Chris Hughton (above left) will potentially have more scope for changes from game to game with the depth of the squad increased by Albion's summer business.

"That I don’t know until I get to those positions," Hughton told The Argus. "But we have players we have brought in that will give us real competition and have come in, for our club, for quite big fees.

"It gives us that level of competition. I can never tell, because it goes from game to game and one week to another. It depends how I feel about the performance and the players that played."