FROM THE FLY AGAIN
Brighton. Tipped to struggle, Chris Hughton’s men have taken the Championship by storm, winning six of their first eight games. And, heading into the weekend, Rosenior’s Brighton are one of only three unbeaten sides in the country.
“The league isn’t won by bookmakers or pundits,” says Rosenior. “It’s won by what happens out there on the pitch.
“And when we go out on to the pitch, everyone is willing to fight and tackle for each other.
“People talk about quality, but every team in this league has good players. But do they have the mentality to win games under pressure? Do they have the resilience to dig points out when things aren’t going well? At the moment we’re passing those tests and, if we can keep it up, we could do something very special.”
Shot-shy and unadventurous last season, the Seagulls have hit 11 goals this term, with Israeli striker Tomer Hemed amongst the Championship’s top scorers.
“Tomer’s a quality player and things are going really well for him,” adds Rosenior.“Then you’ve got Sam Baldock, who’s showing everybody just why he’s so highly rated.
“The fact that they’re keeping out a living legend in Bobby Zamora tells you everything.”
But the full-back reserves his greatest praise for gaffer Hughton, who won promotion from the Championship with Newcastle in 2010.
“In football terms, he’s very consistent in his message,” he says. “When Chris is your manager, you know your job.
“But before we even talk about tactics or motivation or anything like that, it’s important to say that he’s just a very, very good man.
“His honesty, his integrity – there’s no edge, no side to him beyond what you see. In my experience, that’s quite rare in football.
“When you have that, you get people on side very quickly. Not just the players, but the fans and everyone who works at the cub. People want to make you successful and that’s very different to just doing a job for somebody.
“Chris is someone who all the lads respect enormously and nobody wants to let down.”
And with ambitions in management – he has already completed his coaching badges – Rosenior has vowed to watch Hughton like a hawk.
For now though, he simply wants Brighton’s clutch of youngsters – like Rohan Ince and Jake Forster-Caskey – to dodge the minefield that very nearly detonated his own career.
“It’s about keeping an eye on them, getting their mentality right,” he says. “We’ve got players with Premier League potential for sure, but if they don’t keep improving, they’ll not realise it.
“My job is to make sure they don’t have to go through what I did.”