Seagulls are unflappable.
Byline: STEVE STAMMERS
IT only took a minute until Brighton knew they were in a new and more demanding world following their promotion to the Premier League.
Then, Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus chested a pass and in a nano-second flicked the ball over the head of defender Lewis Dunk.
Brighton lost that opening match. No surprise. But under the shrewd management of Chris Hughton they have recovered, building on a summer of recruitment success.
Matthew Ryan is a goalkeeper of immense promise. Pascal Gross came in from Ingolstadt. Davy Propper was signed from PSV Eindhoven. Colombian Jose Izquierdo came from Club Brugge, and highly rated Izzy Brown is on loan from Chelsea.
The season did not start well, with defeats home and away. The first point was always going to be vital for morale and that came in a goalless draw at much-improved Watford.
The vital first win followed against West Brom and another came against Newcastle.
No one has hammered Brighton. They have found their feet. Ryan has proved a shrewd recruit from Valencia, and the impressive Dunk is relishing playing against some of the deadliest front men in the world.
What Hughton will be the first to admit is that he needed one more front man to bolster his squad. Brighton lack a striker with the ruthless touch.
But they have also looked solid, compact and organised, and that should ensure they are still competing with the elite next season.
To date the verdict has to be: so far, so good.
But in January, Hughton will be looking again for more firepower.
At the moment the likes of Solly March and Anthony Knockaert are more than capable of providing the ammunition. No problems there.
In midfield, Dale Stephens has shown more than enough quality to suggest he belongs at the highest level. Inspirational captain Bruno ensures the defence are organised and combative.
Brighton are not the only club to find scoring goals rather more taxing than preventing them going into their net.
What has gone right? Even when things are going wrong, they do not look like folding.
What has gone wrong? Quite simply, they need and out-and-out goalscorer.
STINKER OR STONKER
STINKER HUGHTON'S men haven't been hammered, but they are struggling for goals.
WINGING IT Brighton's new wideman Jose Izquierdo
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|Publication:||Sunday Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Oct 8, 2017|
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