|Sheffield Wednesday 2 v 0 Rochdale|
Saturday, 6th August 2011 Kick-off 15:00
Down in Albion: Q&A with Brighton fans
Friday, 13th Aug 2010 07:52 by Col
With Dale travelling down to Brighton at the weekend, we asked a number of Albion fans some questions as part of the build up to the game
1) Who are you, and how long have you been supporting the Albion
James Crook: My name is James Crook, and I have been supporting the Albion for longer than I care to remember.
Mark Neal: Mark Neal, approaching my 30th season, not quite senile yet! (I hope not anyway!)
Sam Ovett: Sam Ovett, been a fan for as long as I can remember, but I am still at school :P earliest memory probably a 0-0 draw with Torquay at Withdean, but probably went to some before that
2) We're still finding out feet in League One. Given that you seem to have experienced all divisions in the past few years, what can you tell us about League One?
JC: League One is a very tough division to judge. Last season we beat Southampton and Charlton away, yet lost to Stockport at home. Anyone can win any game on the day.
MN: I think it’s become a lot more money-dictated in recent seasons which isn’t great in my opinion. A few years back you’d get teams with smaller budgets in and around the top, more recently it’s just the so called ‘big-boys’ which is a shame. I think you’ll be fine, though. A good manager is always key to success and I quite rate Keith Hill.
SO: League One is tough, seems a big step up from League Two. Some big teams like Southampton, Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton, but teams like Huddersfield are also very tough to play against.
3) How will it feel to leave the Withdean and finally move into Falmer?
JC: Arriving at Falmer is going to be one of the most momentous occasions of my lifetime. All the battling, the business with having to play home games in Gillingham, and all of the suffering we have had to endure off the pitch over the past few decades, will be so worth it to see us play in our new magnificent home.
MN: It’s pretty hard to put it into words. We’ve been through a lot, and going from one of the worst grounds in the football league to one of the best is going to be incredible. The best thing to say I think is that we just can’t wait for something specila that we’ve all worked hard for!
SO: A relief, for Withdean is pretty poor, and Amex looks absolutely fantastic
4) Glenn Murray was a £300,000 signing from us. How's he done with you?
JC: Glenn is a great player. He scores goals for fun when fit, and is probably our most technically gifted player, but he has had problems with discipline and injuries. He is without doubt a 25-goal a season player, and as long as he can stay fit and out of trouble this season, I expect him to tear League One apart.
MN: He’s classy. Really good touch and an intelligent player. Can be a joy to watch, but can be equally frustrating when he decides to have his petty moments and get sent off (see Tranmere away last season, sent off for catching the ball). Overall it’s money well spent.
SO: Glenn has been very good for us, especially since Gus took over, and the only thing that really lets him down is probably his discipline...though that seems to be a problem for us in general
5) Jason Peake was another big money signing from us. Any memories of him?
JC: Not particularly. Didn't exactly live up to his billing in his brief time at the Albion
MN: Not many, but I can remember a bit of a fuss over it at the time and remember him being a decent player. Good record we’ve got with you actually. Got any more players we can buy?!
SO: Can't remember him, my bad
6) What sets Brighton apart from other sides in League One?
JC: Brighton is a very special club to support. Our away fans are incredible- shown last season when we took 2500 to St Mary's and over 6000 to Aston Villa. The total football approach that Gus Poyet has us playing at the moment is the best stuff I have seen us produce in our time at Withdean, and with a lot of promising young players, a wealthy investor that is a long-time fan with plenty of links to the club, and a magnificent stadium on the horizon, it is very exciting times to be a Brighton fan.
MN: Err, probably Poyet and the style of football he’s blessed us with; continental, free-flowing flair! (well, as close as a League One side can get to that). But in all seriousness, he is doing a great job for us and is really enjoyable to listen to in his interviews, much better than manager soundbites you get from half the Premiership’s managers.
SO: Gus has got us playing really well, and nice, passing football is always nice to watch. I think we pass the ball around better than a lot of teams in the league.
7) Where's the best place for Dale supporters to go drinking before the game?
JC: You'd probably need to head off early and get off into the City centre if I'm honest. There is a severe lack of decent boozers around the Withdean
MN: The Brewery Tap. It’s a fifteen minute walk straight along London road to the ground, or you can use the travel voucher on your match-ticket and get the bus along (there’s a bus-stop outside the pub). If you get the train, get off at Preston Park Station. Go down the stairs and left out of the station, down the road, then right at the bottom, the pub is about 2 minutes along. Most importantly it’s a great little pub, with good food, and cheap (by Brighton’s standards) drinks - away fans are always welcome.
8) To the best of my knowledge, despite all the problems over the years, Brighton have never entered administration. What do Albion fans think about clubs who head down that route?
JC: Obviously, with some clubs you can't help but feel sympathy for the fans, because they are the ones that suffer. But ultimately, teams like Portsmouth need to be punished more severely. An example which a lot of Brighton fans were not happy about was Cry*t*l P*l*ce managing to get away with ten points taken off and ultimately staying up at the expense of Sheffield Wednesday. Clubs that do not spend within their means should be punished more severely.
MN: Judging by the reaction of fans on our forum, we’re not very keen on them. It’s like cheating and getting away with it, isn’t it? Spend money you haven’t got, ride the gravy train for a few years then when it all goes tits-up pay back a penny in the pound. Pretty sickening if we’re honest. Something more needs to be done, but I won’t hold my breath knowing how English football is run…
SO: Pretty upsetting, though Palace are Palace, so that can be a good thing. It's not all bad, looking at Bournemouth though under Eddie Howe, how they survived after losing 17 points and are now in our league
9) Who should we be aware of this weekend? Who is the biggest threat?
JC: Definitely Glenn Murray. He is our main goal threat without a doubt. We also have Ashley Barnes in attack, who we signed from Plymouth last month. He scored a few goals last season for us on loan, but I'm not entirely convinced on him just yet. Also, Elliott Bennett scored some wonder-goals last season, including some spectacular free-kicks. He is definitely one to watch out for.
MN: Murray will be a threat if he finds his feet straight away. Elliot Bennett on the right-wing has pace and was probably our best player last season, scores his fair share of long range efforts!
SO: With the attacking influence of Sparrow out for three games, and Navs being injured, probably Murray, Bennett and Barnes
10) Dull prediction time. What will the score be?
JC: I can see a closely fought, scrappy affair on the cards. Unfortunately, we had horrific home form last season, and with Sparrow banned and Navarro injured, therefore i can see 'Dale nicking it 2-1.
MN: We’re not very good at home. 1-1
SO: I was thinking maybe 4-0 Albion :P
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