Brighton and Hove Albion's current situation is arguably better than many fans would have expected in the summer when bookmakers named the Seagulls as one of the main favourites to go down.
Chris Hughton's side are sat in 12<sup>th place in the Premier League table, five points ahead of the relegation zone and seven behind Leicester City, who are currently eighth.
However, the former Newcastle United, Birmingham City and Norwich City manager knows that there is still a lot of work to do from January to May to prevent Brighton's fortunes from changing during the decisive months of the campaign.
Last season, the Seagulls seemed destined to win the Championship but were pipped to the title by Newcastle United after being held to a draw by Aston Villa on a dramatic final day.
That was only a minor blow with Brighton having guaranteed their promotion to the Premier League before the final game. However, a similar setback this season could be the difference between staying in the top flight or returning to the second tier.
What they need
Brighton needed a proven top scorer in the summer and they still need one today. The club broke their transfer record three times in the last transfer window to sign goalkeeper Mathew Ryan, midfielder Davy Propper, and winger Jose Izquierdo.
Ryan has become the undisputed number one, Propper needed a little time to adapt to the Premier League and Izquierdo is also showing glimpses of his pace and talent. Pascal Gross has also proved to be one of the bargains of the summer after being brought in from German side Ingolstadt.
However, Hughton still needs a number nine after the club failed in their attempts to sign several targets like Deportivo la Coruna's Florin Andone or current Malaga forward Diego Rolan.
Brighton have only found the net 17 times in 22 matches as a result and 34-year-old Glen Murray is their current top scorer with only six goals under his belt.
Who could join
Brighton have already signed Swedish striker Viktor Gyokeres from IF Brommapojkarna as a prospect for the future, with the 19-year-old starlet expected to play in the Under-23 side this term. But Hughton will be hoping to add to the firepower of the first-team with a more experienced addition.
The Daily Mail recently claimed that Brighton would be ready to break the bank once again to sign the coveted Moussa Dembele in a £18m club record deal from Celtic.
But the report added that Hughton's side could face competition from other Premier League sides with Everton also monitoring the situation
Other strikers linked with Brighton in recent times have included Oumar Niasse, as the Senegalese striker appears to have fallen out of favour under Sam Allardyce at Everton.
Meanwhile, Liverpool Echo have also claimed that Brighton could also battle with Aston Villa to secure Marko Grujic on loan from Anfield.
Who could leave
Hughton has already confirmed that 25-year-old winger Jiri Skalak could move on loan, having only registered two appearances in the League Cup during the first half of the campaign.
Jamie Murphy is said to have attracted interest from Rangers but the Brighton boss has already said that he has no any interest in parting ways with his forward.
The departure of more players during the January transfer window will depend on whether the Seagulls manage to bring some new faces ahead of the second half of the season.
What the manager has said
"We're always thinking about January and we know what an important period it is," Hughton recently admitted.
"We also know once January goes, that's it. We'll work hard towards it but that doesn't mean we'll bring anybody in. We'll assess it continually going through the month of December,
"Sometimes there are decisions which are made for you with an injury you might perhaps pick up but we have a responsibility to try to be as good as we can and have a squad as good as we can going right through until the end of the season."