The Seagulls were in contention for a top-six place this time last year, only to fall away to eventually finish 10th.
This time they have a spring in their step following last weekend's 3-0 win over derby rivals Crystal Palace and are currently outside the play-offs only on goal difference.
"Palace was a massive win and one that the fans loved," said Spanish defender Calderon. "It was also good for us because it came on the back of three games without a win, it was important to get the winning mentality back going into the international break.
"Now we have eight games against some tough teams, starting with Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
"You have to be in with a chance with maybe five games left, not necessarily in the top six but seventh or eighth.
"For me we are better this year. We are more prepared to push for the play-offs so we will see what happens."