FROM THE FLY AGAIN

The Football League Paper - - NEWS -

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.

In­tegrity

“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.”

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