FORMER Albion star Gary O’Reilly has heaped praise on the progress the team has made under manager Graham Potter.

Potter has implemented a new attacking philosophy since he took over from former manager Chris Hughton.

The new system has paid dividends this season as the club is challenging for a spot in the top half of the Premier League.

The former defender believes that Hughton did a good job at the club but sees Potter taking it to the "next level".

He told BHAFC: “Chris did an unbelievable job to get Brighton promoted and then to consolidate their position in the Premier League, but credit to Graham Potter, he’s taken it on to the next level.

“For them to be sat so high in the table, and for them to go to Goodison Park in their last league game and score three goals, is a superb indicator of the way things are moving.

The Argus: Gary O'Reilly left Albion for Crystal Palace in 1987, spending four years at Selhurst Park.Gary O'Reilly left Albion for Crystal Palace in 1987, spending four years at Selhurst Park.

“The players understand Graham’s vision by the looks of it and he’s made them a very pleasing side to watch.

“It’s a confident group and along with the attacking intent shown, they are also very difficult to break down.

“A number of their performances have been really quite stellar.”

O'Reilly was signed for £45,000 from Tottenham Hotspur and has been a fan of the club's recent activity in the transfer market.

Albion have excelled in bringing in unknown talent and turning them into star players.

Players like Yves Bissouma, Alexis Mac Allister, Jakub Moder and Tariq Lamptey were not widely known of before their moves to Albion and are now regulars in the first-team.

O'Reilly said: “Some of the player acquisition is highly commendable too – players who would have been unknown to many have been brought in and given a chance to shine.

“There’s also real character in the team, which was seen at Everton and, of course, at Chelsea, which is another component you look for in players when you’re recruiting.”

O'Reilly made 108 league appearances for Albion over two spells with the club, he also chipped in with six goals.

In between these stints he played for Crystal Palace and Birmingham City.

His two old teams face off on Friday night as Albion welcome Palace to the Amex in the Premier League.

Last time the two teams played it ended in dramatic circumstances as Neal Maupay scored a last minute equaliser at Selhurst Park.

The Argus: Brighton and Hove Albion's Neal Maupay scored against Crystal Palace last time the teams metBrighton and Hove Albion's Neal Maupay scored against Crystal Palace last time the teams met

O'Reilly believes that Palace have become a more "pragmatic" side under new manager Patrick Vieira.

He said: “Under Patrick, Palace are playing a more expansive style of football than they did under Roy, who was more pragmatic, yet effective.

“Patrick has had to deal with a number of injuries and absentees to this point but when he gets everyone back fit and firing, then the project will be very interesting to watch, to see how they all gel.

“They have some excellent individual players, Conor Gallagher for instance, who has not only sustained the performances he was putting in at West Brom on loan last season, but has taken them up a notch.

“It should, therefore, be a fascinating encounter at the Amex on Friday night and one I’m looking forward to immensely.”

When asked for his prediction for the match between Albion and Palace O'Reilly did his best to avoid picking favourites.

He said: “Not a chance.

“When I’m asked who I support, the answer is always the same, Tottenham.

“I know it’s a total cop out, but I had the privilege to play for Palace and Brighton and have an affinity with both clubs and both sets of fans.

“I’m just hoping it’s a good game and there’s every reason to believe it will be.”