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Upson: We'll challenge again
Matt Upson has backed Albion to launch another Championship promotion challenge under new head coach Oscar Garcia.
The veteran former England centre-half has rejoined the Seagulls for a year, despite the dismissal of manager Gus Poyet for gross misconduct.
Upson believes the club can continue to thrive with Garcia in charge after helping Poyet’s side reach the play-offs on loan from Stoke last season.
The 34-year-old told The Argus: “My expertise of the Championship isn’t great but I think Brighton are really in a good position because a lot of foundations and the structure are already in place to be a top club.
“I think a top six finish has to be an ambition of the club. That’s the way I see it and that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to sign, because I want to be involved in a play-off or a promotion. That is a really good target for the club at the moment.”
Upson, having spent almost his entire career in the Premier League, has been impressed by the calibre of the Championship.
The ex-Arsenal, West Ham and Birmingham stopper said: “I think most people can watch a Premier League game and Championship game and pick out the differences. There’s a slight difference in quality, maybe in the speed of movement. Other than that is a really strong, competitive league, so it's tough.
“I was surprised. There is a lot of individual flair and good quality. It’s quite physical and a few more aerial challenges and a bit more heading the ball, so it’s difficult in other ways.”
Albion’s pre-season preparations step up a gear tomorrow as they fly to Madrid for a week's training in nearby Segovia and matches against La Liga teams Getafe and Sporting Gijon.
Upson said: "It's quite a nice location for a pre-season trip. I've been on a lot worse, so I'm looking forward to getting away for an intense week of training and a couple of tough games. It's a good test for the group."
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