Blogs & Opinion


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.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Kevin Phillips

Phillips: Foxes shaping up

Kevin Phillips blogs on Leicester's pre-season travels, which has taken the side from Austria to Bangkok....

Andy Walker

Walker: Celtic 'shocking'

Ronny Deila’s hopes of winning over the club’s fans took a big blow in Poland, says Andy Walker....

Guillem Balague

Balague: Barca training tough

Guillem Balague says Barcelona’s stars will suffer gruelling double sessions during their week at Burton....

Latest News RSS feeds

Live transfer updates

Thomas Vermaelen could leave Arsenal, Crystal Palace sign Brede Hangeland and Liverpool close on two full-backs.

Liverpool target defensive duo

Liverpool are closing on Sevilla left-back Alberto Moreno and Atletico Madrid's Javi Manquillo, Sky sources understand.

Game of the season

Vote for the best Sky Sports Premier League game of 2013/14 – and we’ll replay the best ones on air.

Wenger: Vermaelen could leave

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger plans to make more signings this summer, but admits captain Thomas Vermaelen could leave.

Mourinho: Costa is fantastic

Manager Jose Mourinho thinks new forward Diego Costa is a superb addition to his Chelsea squad.

Features

Everyone's a winner?

Everyone's a winner?

After three years, 15 appearances and no goals for Chelsea, Romelu Lukaku has left Stamford Bridge. This time on a permanent basis.

A number of Premier League teams look set to embrace the 3-5-2 once again after its success at the World Cup

A number of Premier League teams look set to embrace the 3-5-2 once again after its success at the World Cup

The World Cup has a long tradition of sparking innovation. The Miracle of Berne may have prevented Hungary lifting the trophy in 1954 but the Magnificent Magyars and their 3-2-3-2 discovered the way to outfox the WM formation.

Christian Damiano: Top coach on what English football can learn from Europe

Christian Damiano: Top coach on what English football can learn from Europe

Sky Sports is your new home for both domestic and European football – but what are the major differences between the two?