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Football: Zamora this is just great for Bobby; Brighton 2 Rotherham 0.

BRIGHTON boss Steve Coppell has no doubt the Seagulls' relegation dog-fight is turning star striker Bobby Zamora into a better player.

Coppell believes Zamora's development into a top-class striker has been accelerated due to his first season in Division One.

Zamora's 67th-minute strike, following an own goal from Paul Hurst, lifted Brighton out of the bottom three and Coppell said: "It's a hell of a responsibility Bobby has on his shoulders.

"Bobby is a fabulous physical specimen and a terrific athlete. Whatever happens at the end of this season he'll be a better player because of it, especially from a mental point of view."

The Seagulls have lost all 11 matches Zamora has missed, and Coppell makes no bones that they probably would end up relegated if the England Under-21 marksman is forced out injured.

He added: "The Mark Bright of four or five years ago would have been the perfect foil to give Bobby that bit of First Division nous. We have been lacking someone to take some of the weight off him."

Coppell remains cagey about Brighton's survival chances and admits: "I'm not confident. It's going to be really difficult and we know it can change so quickly.

"We've just got to hope and trust that good form, fitness and no suspensions will help us in the end."

Rotherham boss Ronnie Moore warned his men to get set for a week of hard graft after slumping to what he called an "abysmal" defeat.

The Millers play-off hopes have disappeared with one point out of the last 12 and Moore admitted that against Brighton they were little better at times than a pub team.

He said: "This was as bad as we've played for a long time. Brighton had some luck with the own goal, but the second was a joke. You can't give Zamora two yards never mind 10 and he's not going to miss from there."

Rotherham failed to win any of their final 10 matches last season, having begun the campaign in similar fashion, and Moore fears they are returning to old habits.

He added: "The team look a shadow of the side that got us into range of the play-offs."

CAPTION(S):

ZAMORA: Super show
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 10, 2003
Words:370
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