Brighton & Hove Albion need to stay unbeaten in key period - Ian Hart

Without fear of contradiction, it was two points dropped last Saturday against ten-man Leicester City, rather than a point gained.

Action from Brighton's match with Leicester on Saturday. Picture by PW Sporting Photography
Action from Brighton's match with Leicester on Saturday. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

It was the first of four games which the Albion at the very least have to look at staying undefeated in.

This Saturday sees a trip to Yorkshire to play the improving Huddersfield Town, then on Tuesday it’s back to the Amex for the A23 derby and visit-of arch rivals Crystal Palace, followed by another visit up north, this time to the Red Rose County to take on Burnley.

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No Albion fan is under any illusions, this is one of the hardest leagues on the planet. But if the Albion want to make the transition to become an established Premier League side, the likes of Huddersfield and Burnley, even away from home, are games we should be looking to get maximum points from.

That’s not arrogance, just progress. That excellent three game winning run a few weeks ago gave the Albion renewed optimism in the fight for Premier League stability. Granted the wheels have come off over the last few games, but maybe the trip to Yorkshire will be the launch pad for another three straight wins and an all important nine more points on the board.

We are due a good performance against both the Terriers and the Eagles. Prediction time beckons, 1-0 on Saturday and then an enthralling derby game on Tuesday with Albion running out 2-0 winners.

While away in the States, one of my holiday reads was the excellent Tony Greig biography by David Tossell, published by Pitch at £12.99.

The late Greig was quite simply English cricketing Marmite, with a Test career which spanned 58 games for his adopted country, 14 of them as captain. He will however be more remembered for his integral role in Kerry Packer’s breakaway World Series Cricket in 1977, which at the time rocked the game to its foundations right across the world, but ultimately changed the sport for the players for the better.

He was vilified by almost everyone, sacked as England captain and effectively ostracised and forced out of Sussex County Cricket Club to a self imposed and what turned out to be lifelong exile in Sydney, Australia.

But when you strip the entire affair down and analyse the situation, you will realise having read the book that the players of today, and effectively post 1977, owe Greig and his fellow WSC teammates and the late Kerry Packer a huge debt of gratitude.

This is reiterated within the pages of the book, when Greig talks about his younger brother Ian being offered a contract by the committee at Hove in 1981, which equated to more than Greig earned in total as captain of both England and Sussex in 1976.

Without Packer and Greig, the players of today wouldn’t earn the money they do, there would be no day/night cricket or lucrative T20 competitions around the globe.

Yet when it came to the establishment, Greig remained an outcast right up to his death from cancer in 2012 – a clear indication of this is the fact that the last 14 permanent England cricket captains have been honoured by the Queen at Buckingham Palace ranging from MBE’s to full Knighthoods, with the exception of one, Greig.

To win a copy of Greig’s biography, simply answer the following question: How many Tests did Greig play for England? Send you answer to [email protected] by 12pm on Tuesday. Normal competition rules apply.