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Sami Hyypia: Brighton's Craig Mackail-Smith excited to be working with Liverpool legend

Football League Bloggers Posted 13th June 2014 view comments

I knew Sami Hyypia was in the frame for the Brighton job a few weeks ago, along with a French candidate, but we were just waiting to hear the conformation via the press, as that's how we find out these things.

It came up on our website that Sami had signed a three-year-deal and then he had his first press conference on Thursday. We haven't met him yet - that will have to wait until we return to training on June 26 - but it's going to be interesting.

I'm really excited to be working with him. We've been very lucky at Brighton and since I joined the club we've had Gus Poyet, Oscar Garcia and now Hyypia in charge, three guys with great playing careers who went in to management.

Hyypia: the new man in charge at Brighton

Hyypia: the new man in charge at Brighton

He's someone who's had a lot of expereince at the highest level and he can hopefully bring a lot to the table with his management style and quality, but also offer us new information for training as well.

He's a Liverpool great, and has obviously won a lot of trophies in his career. I'll be sure to ask him if he thinks we can win one next season - the Championship title, hopefully.

Hyypia has been there, done it, and knows how to win things. His first job was in the Bundesliga with Bayer Leverkusen, which is a massive club.

Plans

We didn't really see Oscar leaving but maybe it's worked out well that we've brought in a new manager. With our new training ground ready, we can all move together in a fresh direction. We haven't seen the ground yet but we have heard there's plenty of running hills.

The players that have struggled under Oscar will now have a great chance of pushing themselves into the gaffer's plans. It will be a bit weird at first because no one knows what he's like as a person and there will be that meet and greet first session. 

We have testing on our first couple of days back, so it will be quite relaxed, and Sami will have the chance to go around and get to know the team better before we get back to the serious pre-season training.

Leo Ulloa is a massive for us and I'm not surprised he's being linked with big clubs in the Premier League.

He was our top goal scorer last season and has held the line brilliantly. It's important we keep hold of him and hopefully we can build and put a team around him.

I'd really like to actually get an opportunity to play alongside him - I've been here almost three years, he's been here a couple and we've only played together about twice! It would be nice to get a partnership going.

Along with Leo it's important to add in a few new faces and the gaffer will do that, especially with the great links he has around the game. Hopefully we'll have a strong squad and go better than we did in the play-offs last season.

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