Gus Poyet is relishing the opportunity of going head-to-head with Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp tomorrow, with the Brighton manager considering the game to be the most important of their pre-season programme.
The Uruguayan played for Spurs between 2001-2004, making 82 appearances and scoring 18 goals for the side during his time at White Hart Lane, and he always looks back on his time in white with great affection.
And although the reunion for Poyet will make the match more special than the usual friendly, the manager is still hoping to square up with, and defeat, the Barclays Premier League giants in tomorrow’s game.
“Realistically Spurs are the best team we have played so far. I think they are better than Paris St-Germain,” Poyet said. “But if we beat them it doesn’t mean we will win the league or if we lose it doesn’t mean we will go down.”
Poyet says he will use the match up to work on Brighton’s tactics, and test the players' abilities to make quick decisions throughout the 90 minutes against quality opposition.
The former midfielder said: “It’s about how players will deal with situations where they are in front of a very good opposition player. How to stop Gareth Bale, if he plays. Or Luka Modric or Aaron Lennon or Peter Crouch.
“Between the Premier League and the Championship there is a big gap so it should be a really different challenge.”
Poyet also insisted that the side that starts tomorrow will bear a strong resemblance to the one that will run onto the pitch for their opening match on August 6. He added: “This team will be close to the starting XI against Doncaster. Not the same but close.”
While the game will be all important for Brighton’s tactical strategies, it will also be an important one for the stadium. The friendly will mark the official opening of Brighton’s new home, the American Express Community Stadium, and is a sell out.
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