Meet the Seagulls
Feature by INOIT
Updated Sunday, 21st August 2011
Scott McCarthy from wearebrighton.com gives us an insight into the Seagulls and what we can expect from them on Saturday.
I'm Scott McCarthy, I've been watching the Albion home and away since I was a baby at the old Goldstone Ground - not that I remember too much of those days! I can't think of anything better to do on a Saturday than enjoy a few beers with mates up and down the country, before hurling praise and/or abuse at a bunch of footballers!
After promotion how have your opening games gone?
Well, we're off to a bit of a flyer with 3 wins out of 3 in the league, and a win over Gillingham in the cup. We've been a bit lucky though - it took us until very late to break down Doncaster in the first game at The Amex, and then Pompey missed a penalty with the last kick of the game last weekend! However, our impressive performance on Tuesday night (beating Cardiff 3-1) has lead to slightly premature talk of back-to-back promotions!!
How is your squad shaping up for life in the Championship?
Despite losing last seasons top scorer Glenn Murray to Palace (booo) and star midfielder Elliott Bennett to Norwich, we've actually strengthened. The record signing Craig Mackail-Smith looks capable of terrorising defences with his pace and workrate, Will Hoskins alongside him looks a decent prospect too, while Ashley Barnes has carried on where he left off last year with 3 goals already. LuaLua and Buckley have also come in on the wings, giving us a lot more pace. However, we've had injuries at the back, and are relying on youngster Lewis Dunk keeping fit and showing his impressive early season form. The rest of the midfield from last year have been retained and have excelled so far, Liam Bridcutt shining in particular in the midfield role.
Your thoughts on Gus Poyet?
Seriously, he's that good. Pass and move, tippy-tappy - call it what you want, it works, and it means Albion are great to watch under him! He's a nightmare on the touchline though - expect the officials to get a barrage of abuse if the slightest mistake is made. However, he's probably the most popular man in Sussex right now!
You’ve started with a 100% record so what are your thoughts ahead of the game on Saturday and what are your strengths and weaknesses?
Well, if we continue where we left off on Tuesday night then we've got a very good chance of picking up 3 points. We'll respect Blackpool though, you've still got some quality players despite last years relegation. Obviously Phillips is the stand out name and will mean the defence will have to be on their toes! Our strengths? We keep the ball. Don't give it away easily, as we'll wear you out with our passing. Our pace in the wide area's will cause problems, and any defence would struggle to handle the movement of Mackail-Smith. Weaknesses? Our fullbacks have yet to be tested against any real pace, questions have been asked about our keepers ability on crosses, and there's not a lot of height in our team. Basically, we'll have to keep the ball out of our box!
What is your prediction for Saturday and why?
2-2. Blackpool will be looking to bounce back from their defeat in the week, and we've yet to see our defence really put under lengthy pressure. We kept Earnshaw quiet in the week, but it's hard to imagine doing the same again with Kevin Phillips. However, we look good going forward - with our 3 strikers in scoring form, and the likes of Noone and LuaLua posing a threat from the wings, we should be capable of notching a couple ourselves
Who do you fancy for promotion and who do you think will struggle?
Well, West Ham obviously should be up there with their squad, and Southampton have made a flying start too. Saints showed their quality last season, and I expect them to be pushing for promotion again this time round. It'll be interesting to see if Leicester's results pick up as well, as they really should be challenging with all the money they've spent. Going down? It's early days, but it's hard not to look past the likes of Coventry and Doncaster, while perhaps Peterborough and Watford will struggle too after losing key men.
Finally any thoughts on the Seasiders?
Well clearly Ian Holloway is a character, so we'll be keen to hear what he has to say after the game! Despite relegation and losing Adam, there's still some quality players in there with higher level experience - not just Phillips, but Taylor-Fletcher and Barry Ferguson stand out in particular. While we're not expecting to lose for The Amex for the first time, you wouldn't rule it out with some of those names, it all depends on how capable you are at dealing with our 'brand' of passing football. But the experience you had last season should more than prepare you for that!