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Brighton Q & A

VITAL QPR speak to Brighton fan Robin Wooley ahead of Saturday's clash at Loftus Road.

1) Brighton are struggling in another relegation fight this season, it seems
your never out of the drama come the final day of the season what with
promotions and relegations. Why haven't the club consolidated in the
Championship?

The simple answer is finances. The lack of having the same capacity as the majority of clubs in the league means that we cannot compete in the transfer market even just for loans. The sales of big players such as Dan Harding, Adam Virgo, Bobby Zamora, Danny Cullip should have supplemented our budget but the on-going saga with the new stadium has meant that a lot of money has been poured into that. Even if we stay up this season we will not progress in this league without the new stadium.


2) Mark McGhee seems to have had a pretty tough time over the past few
seasons with fans and players both turning on him on different occasions, is
he the right man for the job and are Brighton fans behind him?

I think most Brighton fans would agree that the manager's job is an incredibly tough one. Over the last few seasons we have had some quality managers in Coppell, Taylor and Adams who have all done a great job but have been frustrated by the lack of funds and the lack of a new stadium. McGhee did a terrific job in taking us up in the first place, he did an even better job keeping us up last season and I would say that the same commitment is there this season. Amongst the fans there is something of a split, many blame him for the departure of Leon Knight and the rumours of disharmony in the dressing room and want him out, but many recognise that he has shown great commitment to the club and worked near miracles on a shoestring budget. He is the right man for the job at the moment because I don't think that any good would come from sacking him this close to the end of the season. Who knows, come the end of the season he might go down as one of our great manager if he keeps us up yet again. I am quietly confident.


3) Mark McCammon came under the media spotlight a while ago, whenever he's
played Rangers he seems to offer a different option in attack but is not
neccessarily a goal scorer, why aren't the fans getting behind him?

Since Mark came to the club he has been plagued by injury which has disrupted his progress. Apart from a great performance against Sunderland last season we have not really seen the best of him. You are right in saying that he offers us a different option in attack but what we really need at this stage of the season is goals which I don't think he would provide us in great amounts. Many fans feel that we gave Mark something of a lifeline when he was at Millwall and that he hasn't really repaid us for the faith that was shown in him. Maybe that is not his fault given the injuries he has had. If we go down I feel that he would definitely have a more positive impact in League 1.


4) Talkof you moving to another stadium was ongoing for years, you finally
seem to setting plans ahead for a new ground. Give us the low-down on where
it will be, what the capacity will be and if you reckon its a good move and
will you fill the ground?

Without a new stadium our club will die, simple as that. The fight for a new stadium has been going on ever since the Goldstone Ground was sold in 1997. Since then we have groundshared with Gillingham and in 1999 we moved to a 'temporary home' at Withdean. 7 years and 2 public planning inquiries later we are still there but our wish for a new 22,000 capacity stadium adjacent to the Sussex University campus has been granted. Only for it to be challenged by one of the local councils yet again, the projected completion date if their challenge is quashed will now be the 2009/10 season which will be 12 years without a proper home, that is a long time. As to whether we will fill it, we took over 30,000 fans to the Division 2 play-off final in 2004 so I am confident that we would.


5) Leon Knight was sold (one of your biggest names) but who will stand out
when the Seagulls visit, who are most likely to hurt us and who have been
your unsung heroes of this season?

Seb Carole and Alexandre Frutos were signed by Mark McGhee on free transfers towards the beginning of this season. They have definitely given us drive, pace and skill in midfield and have proved themselves to be handfulls to many defences. I see them causing a few headaches for the Rangers' defenders on Saturday. At the back Guy Butters has had another good season. He might not be the quickest but he has shown us that the timing of the tackle is all important. We need him to be a rock at the back again. Up front the 'Coca-Cola Kid' Colin Kazim-Richards shows moments of class but isn't yet the finished article, I hope that he has a day when all his chances go in because he deserves it for the effort that he has put in this season.

6) What style of play do Brighton play or will that be sc**ped as you battle
for the points to stay up?

At this stage of the season every point and every goal matters, how they are won and scored doesn't matter. This season we have tried to play a short passing and flowing style which he has been made to look ineffective by our lack of goals, I really feel that with a proven striker up front all season we would not be in this situation. As for Saturday I see us trying the same passing style and hoping to reap the rewards that we deserve in front of goal. That doesn't mean that a goal from a hoofed long ball won't go down just as well with the fans!


7) Which Rangers players willl you have to watch out for on Saturday?

The evergreen Paul Furlong seems to have a knack of coming up with goals at important times. I feel that his experience and footballing know-how will pose a threat to our young side. Marc Nygaard seems to have a lot of presence up front and might unsettle us up front aswell, he seems to have found his scoring boots after a fairly slow start to life at Loftus road. New signing Paul Jones might be 39 but he is still as agile as ever, I saw him make a few great saves at the weekend and feel that he will make life even more difficult for us in front of goal.

8) We've played each other on numerous occasions over the past 5 years, do
you expect another tight affair?

With you being in 14th place in the table you are unlikely to be leaving to division in either direction. I think that this might be in our favour in terms of motivation for the match. I feel that we will play out of our skins to get the three points and that you might not be under the same amount of pressure to produce the goods. Therefore I see a hard-fought encounter which will be difficult to call.

9) A prediction please on the match?

I don't see it being a high scoring game because neither of the sides are particularly proflific in front of goal. I see us having a big more motivation and snatching a cheeky 1-0!


10) And can you stay up?

We have to overhaul a 5 point deficit which you might think with 8 games to go is going to be tricky. But we still have games against Millwall and Sheffield Wednesday to come which is where the battle will be decided. I feel that we have a fighting chance of staying up but that it will come down to the results of those two games. If we win on Saturday I will be slightly more confident.

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Is Robin being realistic? You decide!




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The journalist

Writer:  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday March 16 2006

Time: 1:52PM

 

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