Far be it from me to cast aspersions about your attentiveness, but I’m quite sure it won’t have escaped your notice that Saturday’s league opener is quite a significant game for our hosts Brighton. After fourteen years on the road at Priestfield and the Withdean Albion have returned to a home they can call their own and the fantastic new Amex Stadium will host its first competitive game against our rabble. In the spirit of Fans United forged on the pitch at their last ‘home’ game in April 1997 we felt compelled to get the views of one of their own, so here Scott McCarthy of We Are Brighton faces our questions;
Stand of choice at your fancy new ground: West Upper, or The Roost as it seems to be referred to.
How do you feel about Saturday’s game? Excited that for the first time in about 20 years we won’t be entering a second tier season just hoping to survive. And obviously the small matter of having our own home ground for the first time in 14 years will be quite nice.
This game of course kicks off a new Championship campaign, what are your expectations for Brighton in the season ahead? Mid table to top ten. Despite how well the three promoted teams did last season, I can’t see us doing the same, even though our chairman has said finishing outside the play-offs will be disappointing. Although last season he said he wanted ‘top two’ and most people thought he was mental, so who knows?
Where do you think this Brighton team is strongest? Creatively. Kazenga LuaLua will be a massive signing if he is anywhere near as good as he was before he broke his leg, and we’ve got two other young wide men in Will Buckley from Watford and Craig Noone who on their day can both do a lot of damage. Full backs will be in for a game when they face us.
What do you consider Albion’s weak point as being? Defence, certainly in the early part. Adam El Abd and Tommy Elphick, two of our three senior centre backs are out which means we will be a bit short at the back. Throw in the fact that Casper Ankergren has a bigger fear of crosses than Dracula, then if teams get deliveries into our box between the centre halves and goalkeeper we may be in trouble
Who’s the key player the Rovers should be daunted by? Kazenga LuaLua will just frighten people with pace, Craig Noone with pace and trickery. If either of them get on the ball and do stuff, then it should make life a bit easier for our multi million pound strike force of Craig Mackail Smith and Will Hoskins.
Which Doncaster player are you most wary of? Got to be Billy Sharp. Any player who can score as many goals as he does is going to cause problems, especially as last season all of the better strikers in League One (two of which we’ve signed) seemed to score against us
Justified or not, every side has a scapegoat, who would you say is Brighton’s? Difficult to say after last season. Lots of people are a bit wary of Ankergren although you can’t argue with his goals against record, and Ashley Barnes is often criticised for missing a hatful of chances a game despite the fact he got twenty goals last season.
Are you happy with Gus Poyet? Very. The bloke has turned us from a side who were always looking likely to end up in League Two to one that has a realistic shot of a highest placed finish in twenty years.
Song or chant to listen out for: We don’t really have too many inventive songs, so I guess a rousing chorus of “Brighton are back”.
Finally, a match prediction: I’d like to think we’d win the first game at the Amex, so I’ll go 2-1 Brighton. Which probably means it’ll be you guys walking away with three points and spoiling the big day!
The guys at We Are Brighton (yes, ‘guys’, plural, they’ve got like a whole team and everything) actually came to me on Tuesday this week to ask me to answer some questions of their own and so you can find my moonlighting response here