Ulloa: It's so hard to stay up - now Brighton can build on it

Leonardo Ulloa in action at Manchester City. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Leonardo Ulloa in action at Manchester City. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Leonardo Ulloa knows what it takes for a club to establish themselves in the Premier League - and feels Brighton have all the tools to do just that.

Ulloa was part of the Leicester squad who pulled off the great escape with seven wins from their final nine matches to stay up in the 2014/15 season, before they defied all odds to be crowned Premier League champions the following year.

Leicester then finished 12th last season and are ninth with one game to go this year.

Ulloa, who rejoined Brighton on loan in January, admits the first year in the top flight is tough and feels that makes the achievement of staying up by Albion - and also Newcastle and Huddersfield - so impressive.

He said: "It's good credit to the three promoted teams.

"It's a difficult and hard season to stay up in the first year. After that, they can build around the team but the first season is so, so hard.

"I played at Leicester in their first season and that was so hard. It's very important for clubs to stay up in the first year."

Ulloa now hopes Albion can build on their success this season when they kick-off their second Premier League campaign in August.

He said: "That is more important (to build on this season). Everyone is so happy but it's not just about the money (from staying up) but also the status and it gives you confidence but you can't relax."

The Argentine striker hopes to sign for the Seagulls when his loan from Leicester comes to an end this summer but he still has a year to run on his Foxes contract.

Asked if he thinks Brighton can stay in the Premier League for years to come, Ulloa said: "I hope so. Brighton is magnificent, an amazing city, an amazing club.

"The fans, everything here is very good for staying in the Premier League for the long term.

"They have a very nice stadium, a good new training ground and everything is at the level of the Premier League.

"I hope Brighton keep their place in the Premier League for a long time."