Johnny Cantor: It’s time for the Seagulls to fulfil their potential and deliver promotion

Albion celebrate a goal against Norwich earlier this season. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Albion celebrate a goal against Norwich earlier this season. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
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And so April beckons. The cricket season is two weeks away. Yes, two! Runners are making final preparations for the Brighton Marathon (good luck to BBC Sussex breakfast presenter Neil Pringle!).

The Formula One season continues after the first Grand Prix. Speedway riders are tuning their bikes in preparation for another season. Yes, even the weather is improving. However, there is still the small matter of the conclusion of the football season. Who goes up? Who goes down? And who is ready to get their flip flops on to sit by the pool?!

For the Seagulls, it is time to fulfil the potential. It’s time for them to finally deliver promotion. Of course, the play-offs are a possibility but everyone in the club is looking to close things out in the regular season and secure a top-two place.

How do things compare to last season, though? Well, some might say the landscape is different, but in some ways it is the same.

After 38 matches last year, the team had 71 points compared to this season’s 77. There are still plenty of points to play for though and we must remember how well Chris Hughton’s side performed in the run-in. In the last eight games, they won five and drew three. It was also all part of a 14-game unbeaten run at the close of the regular season.

Some say the Seagulls crumbled last term but I don’t agree. They were in an incredible position and pulled off some emphatic wins to go into that final game knowing a win would take them up.

However, Newcastle are still strong, Huddersfield won’t go away despite that big loss to Bristol City and Leeds will want to capitalise on the victory over the Seagulls in the last match and push closer to the top three.

You feel another strong run will be required over these final furlongs to grab the final prize. I don’t know what will be required but I feel ten points from a possible 12 at home will be needed, and a few draws away from fortress Amex may also be needed as well.

I’m sure the club would not want to rely on getting a result at two sides relegated from the Premier League, Norwich or Aston Villa, to secure promotion.

They won’t want to go through the agony again but in a way one thing remains the same. It is in their hands. A six-point advantage over Hudddersfield, having played a game more, is not a bad place to be.

Two games at home in four days await and six points would put the Seagulls in the box seat.

Johnny Cantor covers Brighton & Hove Albion as a commentator and reporter for BBC Sussex Sport.

Follow all the action, home or away, on BBC Sussex Sport or Twitter: @BBCSussexSport or @johnnycburger

To read more by Johnny Cantor, visit www.johnnycantor.com

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