By Tim Hodges.
Gus Poyet told Brighton & Hove News at this morning’s Amex press conference, that the three players substituted in Wednesday night’s draw with Cardiff, shouldn’t be too disappointed.
The Albion boss didn’t think any of the trio which included, Craig Mackail-Smith, Abdul Razak and Gai Assulin were having bad games, but it became clear to him early in the match that the way Cardiff were set out tactically that Craig Noone and Sam Vokes needed to enter the fray, fairly quickly. He was always going to introduce the duo early in the second half, but Cardiff’s first goal forced his hand with also bringing on Will Buckley.
He praised all three substitutes but said, players need to be ready to play ninety minutes and not just assume and impact role.
Poyet revealed he now has 23 fit players to choose from. This includes Gary Dicker, who broke a leg against West Ham back in October. The boss was keen to point out he has many options re team selection for Saturday. But had not yet formulised a team in his mind.
Poyet seems to keen to have Dicker back, as soon as possible. Stating, that Dicker knows what he (Poyet) wants from set pieces, and that he has liked what he has seen from the Irishman in training this last week.
He conceded though, that Saturday was probably too early for Dicker and pinpointed the fixture against Derby County in a couple of weeks, as his likely return date.
On Saturday’s opponents Portsmouth, the Albion boss suggested they would be a different proposition from the team the Albion beat 1-0 at Fratton Park in August.
He thinks Pompey boss Michael Appleton, who was in the crowd at the Amex on Wednesday, will have to make a decision of whether to play his normal game or adapt his tactics to try and counter the Albion. A scenario Poyet was all too familiar with last season.
But as Poyet was quick to point out the current Portsmouth team will not necessarily be an easier proposition despite their current league position.
The Albion have relinquished custody of the League 1 Trophy. It left the Amex this morning in prepartion for presentation to this season’s League 1 Champions
In all probability Charlton Athletic.