Blogs & Opinion

Rebuilding: Craig Mackail-Smith blogs about Brighton losing top players

Football League Bloggers - Football League Bloggers Posted 15th August 2014 view comments will be getting inside the minds of the players this season.

This week we caught up with our regular blogger, Brighton frontman Craig Mackail-Smith, to reflect on losing Will Buckley to the Premier League, his team’s disappointing Championship start and opening his scoring account in the Capital One Cup.

Craig Mackail-Smith scored against Cheltenham

Craig Mackail-Smith scored against Cheltenham

Buckley joined ex-Brighton boss Gus Poyet at Sunderland this week but Mackail-Smith and co were still able to bounce back from losing to Sheffield Wednesday with a cup victory over Cheltenham.


We’re rebuilding after Leo Ulloa and Will Buckley have left for the Premier League. A few of our best players have left in the last six to eight months – but it is hard for the club when Premier League clubs come in.

It’s disappointing for us as players in one way, but we’re all really excited for Will and Leo to ply their trade in the Premier League. As a club that’s where we want to be, but if the opportunity comes up for a player in the meantime then it’s hard to stand in their way.

Gus Poyet brought Bucka to the club and he had Liam Bridcutt here from before the club got promoted to the Championship, and he knows what they’re capable of. He’s seen their quality and thinks they can play in the Premier League. That’s the way it is. Managers leave and want to take players from their old clubs with them.

If you perform well in this division, it’s only one step from the Premier League so teams that have been promoted or teams in the lower half are always looking for Championship players to bring in to strengthen.

These things happen, the money comes in from other clubs and our club decides how best to use that money. Those two have gone and we’ll get on with it – the club are working to bring in reinforcements and our aim is still for the Premier League.


It was nice to score, it’s been 18 months since I played 90 minutes and scored in a competitive game.

I’ve scored a couple in the reserves and three in pre-season but to score in a competitive game is a lot, lot better. Obviously now I want to do that in the Championship starting on Saturday.

It was an injury that could have ended my career and I’ve worked really hard. I still don’t feel like I’m back to where I want to be but to score and get 90 minutes is a buzz and a boost to know that I’m getting closer and closer.

I want to be playing week-in week-out, it’s been a long time since I played 90 minutes in consecutive games. Hopefully I get a run in the team to stake my claim. We’ve brought Chris O’Grady in and he’s looked good, he’ll want to be up-front too. It’s good to have us both competing and maybe the club will be on the search to bring another one in too. It would bolster the squad.

The performance against Cheltenham was a professional one. They put nine men behind the ball, and made it hard for us. Our big centre-back Lewis Dunk got the important goal which settled the game down. That gave me a chance in the last minute to get in behind the back four and get our second goal.

Long way to go

Teams come to the Amex looking to defend and hit us with one goal. I don’t know if it was a cross or a shot that put Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 up. Then going down to 10 men made it difficult to build up a head of steam. It’s not how we expected the first game at home to go but there’s a long time to get it in motion – 45 more games!

There’s always a little bit of pressure when a new manager comes in, the fans always expected results straight away. We’ve done well over the past couple of seasons so the fans will want him to repeat that.

Post to your View!

Be the first to post a comment on this story

Add Comment*

Send us your views

Are you a Sky Sports subscriber?

*All fields required, your email address will be kept private

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Latest News RSS feeds

Sky Sports Today

Join our blog for Monday Night Football build-up, the latest from Rangers and all the breaking news.

Live transfer updates

Follow our blog for the latest news with three Premier League teams reportedly in the race to sign Fabio Coentrao.

Stoke v Chelsea preview

Stoke City will be hoping for a repeat of their last performance at the Britannia when they host Chelsea.

Murray: No admin for Rangers

Former Rangers chairman Malcolm Murray says Mike Ashley will not allow the club to go into administration.

Kammy's Weekend Review

Chris Kamara has his say on the weekend's Premier League action, including Liverpool's late show and Wayne Rooney's new role.


Liverpool 2-2 Arsenal: Five talking points from Anfield

Liverpool 2-2 Arsenal: Five talking points from Anfield

"It was a bizarre game and lots of unusual things happened." That was how Sky Sports pundit Alan Smith summed up Liverpool and Arsenal's thrilling 2-2 draw on Super Sunday.

Premier League: Former Barcelona forward Bojan Krkic settling at Stoke and ready for fresh clash with Chelsea

Premier League: Former Barcelona forward Bojan Krkic settling at Stoke and ready for fresh clash with Chelsea

Bojan Krkic made his name at Barcelona but is now hoping to build a career at Stoke City, writes Adam Bate.

Newcastle 0-1 Sunderland: Reshuffled defence stand firm for visitors at St James' Park

Newcastle 0-1 Sunderland: Reshuffled defence stand firm for visitors at St James' Park

Adam Johnson once again grabbed the headlines in the Tyne-Wear derby, finding the net at St James’ Park for the third season in a row to help Sunderland to a record fourth-straight victory over arch rivals Newcastle in the Premier League.