• Sussex minnows head North for their Cup Final

    The Albion head North today in what is arguably their biggest fixture of the past decade.

    Despite contesting play-off matches in each of the last two seasons, it is tonight's visit to Elland Road that will be the pinnacle of recent times for the Seagulls.

    Looking forward to the fixture, Leeds boss David Hockaday said: “I think Brighton will be tougher (than Middlesbrough) because when you are playing one of the favourites, it is easier to get yourself up for it."

    An illustration of the task facing Sami Hyypia's side is that Leeds United finished a lofty 15th in the Championship last season, truly putting into perspective Brighton's lowly 6th place.

    Nine places also separated the sides in the preceding season with Leeds soaring to 13th spot, whilst Gus Poyet's Albion had to be content with 4th and a consolation play-off place.

    Leeds United, who as recently as 2010 were crushing the likes of Exeter, Wycombe, Darlington, Colchester and Stockport in the third tier of English football, are going to have to avoid being complacent this evening in a fixture they are hot favourites to win.

    David Hockaday knows all about the pressure of being at one of the biggest clubs (in Yorkshire) after a playing career that included lifting the Fourth Division title with Swindon, before going on to manage at Forest Green Rovers in the Football Conference, the very highest level of non-league football. After successfully avoiding relegation in consecutive seasons, it was a run of 7 defeats in 8 games that saw Hockaday leave Forest Green by mutual consent. After seven months unemployment, and seeking any avenue back into football, Hockaday accepted the Leeds post.

    After playing in front of the biggest home Championship crowds for the last two seasons, it is sure to be a daunting proposition for Hyypia's men to run out in front of the sparse crowd rattling around inside Elland Road. Hyypia and his assistant Nathan Jones will have to work hard to ensure their players remain grounded and are not overawed by the occasion.

    Our verdict: Anything less than a 6-0 defeat should be considered a good result for the Albion, against one of the giants of (Yorkshire) football.
    Comments 12 Comments
    1. Quinney's Avatar
      Quinney -
      Very good read, but still not confident we will score. CMS has a good record against Leeds, hopefully he can keep it going.
    1. seagully's Avatar
      seagully -
    1. Simster's Avatar
      Simster -
      Lovely stuff.
    1. Rugrat's Avatar
      Rugrat -
      Quality, thanks. Winging its way to my Leeds supporting mate as I type
    1. Mattywerewolf's Avatar
      Mattywerewolf -
    1. Dick Knights Mumm's Avatar
      Dick Knights Mumm -
      "No disrespect" - and you know what is coming.
    1. edna krabappel's Avatar
      edna krabappel -
      I assume the players recorded the traditional Cup Final song for the occasion- does anybody know if it's available on iTunes?
    1. Hamilton's Avatar
      Hamilton -
      Everyone fears playing the Champions of Europe.
    1. Dick Knights Mumm's Avatar
      Dick Knights Mumm -
      I am wearing my rosette and waiting for the telly to start showing the build-up. Were we in the "lucky" hotel ?
    1. Mowgli37's Avatar
      Mowgli37 -
      Why were there no half and half scarves on sale at the AMEX prior to this momentous game?
    1. SweatyMexican's Avatar
      SweatyMexican -
      Hockaday: " No disrespect to Brighton but they’re not one of the bigger sides in the Championship"

      Shots fired, I hope we thrash 'em now!
    1. MattBackHome's Avatar
      MattBackHome -
      I just really hope the lads can give 100% and put a shift in, physically and mentally, because at the end of the day that's all you can ask of them.
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