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Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi opens up on his ambitions with the club and in the game

Roberto De Zerbi: "We feel we can write another part of Brighton's history. When I hear that big teams are interested in me it is an honour."; watch Sheffield United vs Brighton live on Sky Sports Premier League on Sunday, kick-off 2pm

Roberto De Zerbi

Roberto De Zerbi says he wants to write a new chapter in Brighton’s history but concedes he also wants to challenge for the biggest honours in club football.

De Zerbi's status across the game has grown considerably since his appointment as successor to Graham Potter, with Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola saying earlier this season that the Italian is "one of the coaches I admire most in world football".

That sort of praise, and his exploits at Brighton, have led to him being linked to some of the biggest jobs in European football, including in his native Italy.

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Brighton assistant head coach Andrea Maldera explained how Roberto De Zerbi, who missed the game after undergoing dental surgery in Italy, communicated with him during their 2-1 loss at Tottenham

The immediate focus for De Zerbi, who returns to the touchline after recovering from dental surgery, is Sunday's trip to play Sheffield United, live on Sky Sports - with Brighton also through to the last 16 of the Europa League in what is already a historic season for the Seagulls.

"We feel we can write another part of Brighton's history," De Zerbi tells Sky Sports.

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"Everyone feels this responsibility and we are working very hard to make happy our fans and our people working in the club. We will try and show our best.

"When I hear that big teams are interested in me it is an honour. I am proud, but my focus is on my work day-by-day.

"About the future, I will speak with the owner and with the club because I want to compete in the best way I can. I want to understand the plan, and then it is not a problem to work in a big, big team or another big team.

"I would like in my career to compete to win the Premier League, Serie A, Bundesliga, La Liga, Champions League but there isn't a time when you have to go and compete, or to wait some more time.

"Milan for me is not a normal club because as a player I was born in AC Milan. For my life I will always be grateful for Milan.

"I love my country, I love Italy, I love Italian football. For sure one of my targets is to go back and work in my country, but I don't know when is the time.

"I am feeling very well in the Premier League and I have to say thanks to Brighton and for all of the coaches and people in [and supporting] the Premier League in the UK,

"But it is not a problem where you work, it is how you are working, not the place."

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the Premier League match between Brighton and Crystal Palace

De Zerbi's primary focus remains firmly on the players he is developing for today and for tomorrow.

"I feel a big responsibility with my players. I want to give them every day something more, something new. I want to help them to be ready, to play in the best way," he says.

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Ivory Coast forward and AFCON winner Simon Adingra returned to Brighton during their open training session at the AMEX and was given a hero's welcome

"To have all the advice and opportunity to be better and better, not only on the pitch and in football, but I am also speaking about confidence, about the right mentality, because we are at the first level of football

"The technology on the pitch, the tactical disposition or the physical work is not enough, you have to be ready to show your quality in all parts of football."

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The Italian also has major affinity with the fans and says he remains keen to repay the faith they have shown in him.

"I feel they understood me, my character and everything about myself," he adds.

"I am really proud of it, because it is not so easy to understand the people if you are not so close with them

"They have to be sure, because until the last day I work in Brighton I will give my best to make them proud and write some history."

Watch Sheffield United vs Brighton exclusively on Sky Sports Premier League on Sunday, kick-off 2pm

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