Sami Hyypia sees pressure slightly lifted after win over Wigan

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Brighton fans have had the unusual pleasure of a prolonged happy spell for the last few seasons, with a League One Title in 2010/11 coinciding with moving into a brand new stadium a few months later.

The American Express Community Stadium was richly deserved for Brighton supporters who suffered through the dark years of ground sharing at Gillingham and being forced to play at the Withdean Stadium, which is more suited to the local running club than a team striving for Premier League football.

Since then the Seagulls have secured three top 10 finishes at their new home, including two agonising play off semi final defeats - one of which came at the hands of arch rivals Crystal Palace.

Managerial changes

The turnover of managers since that first play-off defeat to Palace has irked a number of Brighton fans who believe that their successful managers aren't being supported in the transfer market. With a lack of control over transfer activity being seen as the primary reasons for Gus Poyet's and Oscar Garcia’s departures.

Fans have voted with their feet, with just over 23,000 turning up for Tuesday night's match against Wigan. This is still impressive for a Championship club who have consistently had the highest attendance figures for the past few seasons.


But the drop in numbers are noticeable at a club like Brighton, whose fans have continually filled their stadium since it first opened to its now 32,000 capacity.

Hyypia reign

The new man at the helm is Liverpool legend Sami Hyypia, who has not been able to replicate, thus far, the success of his two predecessors. Sitting in 20th position after 16 games with 16 points isn't the thing that is worrying Albion supporters, it's the way they've been performing each week.

The big name departures of Leo Ulloa to Leicester and duo Will Buckley and Liam Bridcutt both following former boss Gus Poyet to Sunderland have not been replaced. Meanwhile Hyypia has revealed that he is still looking for a striker despite summer signing Sam Baldock finding the net against Bournemouth on Sunday, according to Sky Sports.

“It doesn’t change things. We are trying to find the right one to come in. It’s no secret that we are lacking in the goalscoring position.” said the ex-Finland international.

“It doesn’t change things. We are trying to find the right one to come in. It’s no secret that we are lacking in the goalscoring position"

Board unrest?

The board may well have sensed the negativity growing around the Amex and have acted by bringing back former fan favourite and member of the League One winning squad Elliot Bennett.

However the need for a goalscorer is evident, with this season’s top goalscorer coming in the form of centre-back Lewis Dunk - Scotland international and defensive partner Gordon Greer isn't far behind.

The pressure on Hyypia may have lifted slightly after a 1-0 win over fellow strugglers Wigan, but if a longer run of poor results and uninspiring home performances occur the expectancy will increase in what is an incredibly difficult division to navigate at the best of times.

Gordon Greer
Brighton & Hove Albion
Elliott Bennett
Sami Hyypia
Wigan Athletic

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