Roberto De Zerbi feels Brighton’s players are showing they believe the club can reach Europe and acknowledges his in-form side are in contention for Champions League qualification.
The sixth-placed Seagulls moved to within four points of the Premier League’s top four courtesy of Tuesday evening’s 2-0 win at Bournemouth.
Albion have lost just once in 2023 and return to action on Saturday afternoon with a potentially pivotal trip to high-flying rivals Tottenham.
Head coach De Zerbi admits success over Spurs, who have played two games more, will firmly put his team in the picture to earn a spot in Europe’s leading club competition.
“If we will win then, yes,” said the Italian. “To see, we have to play, we have to fight and we have to believe.
“(Against Bournemouth) the players gave me the signal they believe in our target.
“We have to keep our humility but we want to dream and achieve Europe.”
Brighton remain on course to achieve their minimum objective of a place in the Europa Conference League following the victorious visit to Dorset.
Travelling fans chanted about a potential European tour next term after Evan Ferguson’s delightful flicked finish and Julio Enciso’s first goal for the club secured all three points at the Vitality Stadium.
Albion face a hectic end to the campaign with at least 12 fixtures to come over the next eight weeks, including a Wembley FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United.
De Zerbi expects key midfielders Alexis Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo to be available for the upcoming trip to north London after they were each substituted with knocks against the Cherries.
“Now we have to endure a very tough period and we need everyone inside of the dressing room,” he said.
“In the last two months of the season we will play a lot of games and it’s starting the crucial period for us.
“We have to be clear with the head, clear with the legs and to believe in ourselves because we have the quality to fight.”
Bournemouth dropped back into the relegation zone on goal difference following defeat to their south-coast rivals.
Cherries manager Gary O’Neil insists there is a positive mood among his players ahead of a weekend clash with second-bottom Leicester.
“I think it’s the sixth game on the trot where we’ve played a team in the top 10 and we’ve had a right go in all of them, taken a decent amount of points and put ourselves in a decent position to have a right good crack at the last few games,” said O’Neil, whose team won three of their previous six games.
“The boys are positive, of course, whether you’re in the bottom three or not.
“When you go through a run like that it’s possible not to pick up many points and we have. We’ve a had a real good go, it doesn’t mean the next ones are going to be any easier.
“As I’m sure Brighton found, when you play teams that are down the bottom, they put up a real good fight.
“Going to Leicester will be tough, no doubt, they will be scrapping for everything.”