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Opposing View: Brighton & Hove Albion



Vital Brighton & Hove Albion editor Tom Bravo joins us to provide some insight on the Seagulls ahead of tomorrow's game...

What were your hopes, fears & expectations for the season?

A marked improvement on last season's 10th place finish.

We were very up and down last season, with winning streaks inevitably followed by dry patches - and our away form was suspect throughout. Greater consistency is needed to hopefully sustain the play-off push that we now seem well equipped for.

A brilliant start to the campaign may have raised expectation levels a tad among supporters, but I think top six is still very much the aim.

What has clicked in the last few games to get your firing again?

The new signings have made such a difference; Wayne Bridge and Bruno Saltor at full-back have given us a new dimension going forward, and their top flight pedigree has been there for all to see.

The addition of Andrew Crofts and now Dean Hammond has given us some much needed steel and experience in the midfield engine room. We've also been playing at a higher tempo, mixing our play a bit more to deliver early balls in behind for the pacy front-men to latch onto - Will Buckley and especially Craig Mackail-Smith have been the beneficiaries.

How has ex-Watford loanee Tomasz Kuszczak done for you?

Superb so far. We desperately needed to improve our options between the sticks, and Poyet's pulled off a blinder with his signature. His shot-stopping has been first class, and he appears to have far better command over his area than our previous keepers. His distribution has been a bit concerning at times, but thankfully he's there primarily to keep the goals out.

Who will be the key man on Tuesday?

We have so many players who can influence the game now that we don't really rely on any one individual. But I'd have to say Mackail-Smith - his confidence is sky high at the minute and he's getting some great service. An absolute nuisance for the defenders with his constant harrying and chasing of lost causes - he'll be wanting to notch against his home-town club for sure.

One play you would drive to his next club & why?

We're spoilt at the minute, so it's not as easy to pick out a failure as it has been in recent years - but I'd probably have to go for Ryan Harley.

Signed from Swansea last summer. The talent appears to be there (sort of), but the all-important application doesn't - which is never a good combination for our fans. Plus he's not going to get much of a game for us with the midfield options we have now.

One Watford player you'd poach & why?

Young Sean Murray looks to have a bright future ahead of him - scored a terrific free-kick at the Amex last season.

How will you line up against us?

Unchanged I imagine. (4-5-1/4-3-3)

Kuszczak

Bruno
Greer
El-Abd
Bridge

Bridcutt
Hammond
Dicker

Buckley
Barnes
Mackail-Smith

Match prediction?

We're on a high at the moment, but it's gonna take a decent performance to erase the memories of last season's match from my mind! I'll go for a hard-fought 2-1 Albion win.

Cheers Tom, Muzza is staying put thank you very much!
The Journalist

Writer: Tom Bodell Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday September 17 2012

Time: 11:07AM

 

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