Albion throw up first test for new Blues boss Zola

Gary Rowett was sacked by Birmingham City on Wednesday
Gary Rowett was sacked by Birmingham City on Wednesday

Having tightened their grip on second place in midweek, Brighton face an uncertain trip to the West Midlands tomorrow against play-off chasing Birmingham City.

Chris Hughton’s side sealed a 3-2 victory at Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday as two players came up against former teams.

Shane Duffy, who netted his first Seagulls goal at Ewood Park, enjoyed a winning return to his old side, while ex-Albion skipper Gordon Greer was dismissed after receiving a second yellow in the final 45 minutes.

Coupled with that victory, defeat for third-placed Reading at Leeds, meant Seagulls opened up a eight-point gap over Jaap Stam’s team.

Brighton will be looking to maintain or even better that margin against a Birmingham team under new management tomorrow.

In the week that saw representatives of the club’s new Chinese consortium, Trillion Trophy Asia, join the board of directors, the sackings of manager Gary Rowett and four members of his backroom team were announced on Wednesday afternoon.

Less than 24 hours earlier, Blues had sealed a 2-1 win over Ipswich Town to move within a point of the play-off places.

Former Watford, West Ham United and Cagliari manager Gianfranco Zola was then installed as Rowett’s replacement less than a day later.

The Italian’s first test as Blues boss comes against an Albion side second in the table, in a televised game at St Andrews (5.30pm).

Bradley Stratton

@BradStrat

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