DALE STEPHENS believes Albion are reaping the rewards of stability.

The squad includes 17 players signed since promotion to the Premier League.

Midfielder Stephens is among nine others who helped the Seagulls up two seasons ago and still feature regularly in manager Chris Hughton’s plans.

They all played a part at Everton on Saturday, among them Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk who recently both signed new five-year deals.

Stephens said: “That comes from being successful. The two boys who have signed new contracts have deserved it. They are young boys and deserve to be at this football club for a long time.

“I think when you have period of success it’s important to get a feeling of stability in the team and in the club as well. I think we’re reaping the rewards of that.”

Leaky Fulham have dropped to the foot of the Premier League table as Albion prepare to face another of the promoted teams, next-to-bottom Cardiff, in Wales on Saturday (12.30).

Stephens said: “I think Fulham have a different approach and different style of manager, perhaps. You can’t do everything. We know that if we keep a clean sheet we have a great chance of getting three points.”