Brighton on promotion charge

Friday 1st March 2013 13:56

Jean Beausejour: Mendoza would love to see him in a Brighton shirt

Jean Beausejour: Mendoza would love to see him in a Brighton shirt

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FanZone's Brighton blogger Brett Mendoza is starting to dream of promotion to the Premier League - and signing 'EPL great' Jean Beausejour!

So here we are with 13 games to go, we have snuck back into the holy ground that is 'The Play-Offs Zone'. It has been a while since we were acquainted, October last year in fact.

I think it is a tremendous achievement for our club to be in such a great position, vying for a place in the Premier League.

But there are some fans, many of my friends, who believe we are massively under achieving under a clueless manager and should have the right to be looking at the automatic promotion spots with the squad we have. It always leads to heated pub discussion!

Looking at our squad it is easily the best I have ever seen in my 26 years of watching Brighton. There's over 140 international caps in there.

We have ourselves a goalkeeper from Manchester United; two former England internationals in our back four; One of the best holding central midfielders in the land; two strikers with £2million+ price tags; one of the most exciting wingers in the division; a blend of Spanish flair - and the best player I have ever seen play for Brighton.

But the question remains: Is this squad and manager really under achieving? Should we be higher up the table? Had it not been for injury-time goals conceded in three or four games we would be at least 10 points better off. Does that make us underachievers? For me it is a no.

Yes this is the best squad I have seen in my lifetime, but should we be in the automatic hunt by right. I think not, I don't think anyone should. We have a better team than some around us, we have a worse team than some around us. I think we are about par for the course. Of course results haven't been perfect, and there is lots of room for improvement, but I don't see what there is to really get so angry about?

We will see come the end of the season if we get into the play-off spots or get promoted. If we make a late charge everyone will be happy, despite not being in the play-off spots for the last four months. Like the individual matches, it is no longer how we get there, as long as we do.

For me the timing is right, it is coming to the business end of the season and we are right up there. We could even get to the point that when we play "them" on March 17 - and if we win, we could go above them. They keep getting one over us at the moment, so it would be nice if the tide started to change!

We have spent a lot of time this season battering teams and only coming away with a draw. Now we are not playing as well, or as fluently as our trademark "tippy tappy" football, but are coming away with victories.

A win is a win, no matter how we get them.

I see more steel and determination about our performances. We have kept three clean sheets in our last four games, stemming from heroic saves from Tomasz Kuszczak in goal, and the introduction of the experienced Matthew Upson at the back. Eighteen points from nine league games in 2013, I would call that promotion form!

The footballing philosophy Gus has is pretty much my idea of perfection. Successful football, played on the deck. Gus calls it "our identity." It is obviously not to everyone's taste. This approach has had its flaws along the way and we've lost games, but it is a risk I am glad Gus is willing to take.

Swansea have shown what can be achieved with this approach. They are a similar story to us in terms of size, Spanish influence and time spent in the lower leagues. It gives me hope that we can achieve success by doing what we are doing. At the end of the day I am perfectly happy with our situation and know many people who feel the same way.

As I see it, Huddersfield and Bristol City present us with a great chance of six points in four days, points that will be vital if we want to make the Premier League dream a reality. I want to see us sign EPL greats like Jean Beausejour, score late dramatic equalisers at Craven Cottage and lose to controversial goals at Old Trafford!

The players have started doing their rallying calls in the press conferences, and it is time we start to listen.

The atmosphere was a bit flat to start with against Burnley, so we all need to be up for it right from kick-off, from the fans to the players.

Be loud and be proud! This promotion push could be a distinct reality!

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