Albion get firepower boost as promotion race hots up

Craig Mackail-Smith

Craig Mackail-Smith

First published in Sport

ALBION are poised for a firepower boost in their pursuit of promotion and a place in the Premier League.

Right-back Bruno equalised late on at Huddersfield on Friday with Albion's 50th goal of the campaign, the lowest total of any team outside the bottom six.

Oscar Garcia's side have improved their record by scoring 11 times during a five-match unbeaten run and the Spaniard's attacking options could be further increased by a return to contention for Will Buckley and Will Hoskins.

Craig Mackail-Smith has already provided a comeback tonic. He helped Albion rescue a point at Huddersfield after joining leading marksman Leo Ulloa for his third and longest substitute appearance since 13 months out with Achilles and ankle injuries.

Oscar's No. 2 Nathan Jones said: "We're hoping we'll have more options for selection, which will stand us in good stead.

"We have got some real quality to come in. It's great to see Mackail-Smith back, great to see Hoskins back in the squad as well. They are going to be important in terms of the run-in."

Hoskins has not made a first team appearance for 14 months after double knee surgery. Winger Buckley, meanwhile, is on the brink of his latest return from a recurrence of hamstring trouble, which has sidelined him since the home defeat by Middlesbrough at the end of last month.

The Seagulls could be further boosted for Blackpool's visit today by the return of Matt Upson after injury ruled out the 35-year-old former England centre-half at Huddersfield.

Comments (20)

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7:29am Mon 21 Apr 14

Far gull says...

Matt the most important to get back . Oscar get them fired up from the of today. Game won by 65 min please ;-)
Matt the most important to get back . Oscar get them fired up from the of today. Game won by 65 min please ;-) Far gull
  • Score: 11

7:31am Mon 21 Apr 14

mickagull says...

No excuses then, 3 4 or 5 cup finals coming up COME ON BOYS. We now need 2 top performances against teams battling at the bottom, not our strongest point.
No excuses then, 3 4 or 5 cup finals coming up COME ON BOYS. We now need 2 top performances against teams battling at the bottom, not our strongest point. mickagull
  • Score: 10

7:32am Mon 21 Apr 14

chipsandgravy says...

We need a win of course today and I'm not counting my chickens but given last year's result against Blackpool this could be an ideal opportunity to boost our goal difference. The final reckoning is pretty likely to come down to that
We need a win of course today and I'm not counting my chickens but given last year's result against Blackpool this could be an ideal opportunity to boost our goal difference. The final reckoning is pretty likely to come down to that chipsandgravy
  • Score: 4

7:33am Mon 21 Apr 14

russellsnr2 says...

Sorry Argus buy why do stories like this appear with no author/reporter putting a name to what for most part is like BBC and ITV repeated from previous days.
'Right-back Bruno equalised late on at Huddersfield' yes we no that!!
'scoring 11 times during a five-match unbeaten run'
'a return to contention for Will Buckley' Reported yesterday on here!!
'Craig Mackail-Smith has already provided a comeback'
'Nathan Jones said: "We're hoping we'll have more options for selection,' wow NJ makes a statement has Oscar lost his voice?
'Return of Matt Upson after injury ruled out the 35-year-old former England centre-half at Huddersfield.' Again reported yesterday on here.
Please leave the reporting of The Albion to those who do it best Andy, Brian and the supporters who go to the games!!.
Sorry Argus buy why do stories like this appear with no author/reporter putting a name to what for most part is like BBC and ITV repeated from previous days. 'Right-back Bruno equalised late on at Huddersfield' yes we no that!! 'scoring 11 times during a five-match unbeaten run' 'a return to contention for Will Buckley' Reported yesterday on here!! 'Craig Mackail-Smith has already provided a comeback' 'Nathan Jones said: "We're hoping we'll have more options for selection,' wow NJ makes a statement has Oscar lost his voice? 'Return of Matt Upson after injury ruled out the 35-year-old former England centre-half at Huddersfield.' Again reported yesterday on here. Please leave the reporting of The Albion to those who do it best Andy, Brian and the supporters who go to the games!!. russellsnr2
  • Score: -19

8:24am Mon 21 Apr 14

Ex-pat Arnie says...

russellsnr2 wrote:
Sorry Argus buy why do stories like this appear with no author/reporter putting a name to what for most part is like BBC and ITV repeated from previous days.
'Right-back Bruno equalised late on at Huddersfield' yes we no that!!
'scoring 11 times during a five-match unbeaten run'
'a return to contention for Will Buckley' Reported yesterday on here!!
'Craig Mackail-Smith has already provided a comeback'
'Nathan Jones said: "We're hoping we'll have more options for selection,' wow NJ makes a statement has Oscar lost his voice?
'Return of Matt Upson after injury ruled out the 35-year-old former England centre-half at Huddersfield.' Again reported yesterday on here.
Please leave the reporting of The Albion to those who do it best Andy, Brian and the supporters who go to the games!!.
You do realise this is a holiday weekend... why not let the journos have some time off between matches? These wire reports are fine for filling in the gaps.
[quote][p][bold]russellsnr2[/bold] wrote: Sorry Argus buy why do stories like this appear with no author/reporter putting a name to what for most part is like BBC and ITV repeated from previous days. 'Right-back Bruno equalised late on at Huddersfield' yes we no that!! 'scoring 11 times during a five-match unbeaten run' 'a return to contention for Will Buckley' Reported yesterday on here!! 'Craig Mackail-Smith has already provided a comeback' 'Nathan Jones said: "We're hoping we'll have more options for selection,' wow NJ makes a statement has Oscar lost his voice? 'Return of Matt Upson after injury ruled out the 35-year-old former England centre-half at Huddersfield.' Again reported yesterday on here. Please leave the reporting of The Albion to those who do it best Andy, Brian and the supporters who go to the games!!.[/p][/quote]You do realise this is a holiday weekend... why not let the journos have some time off between matches? These wire reports are fine for filling in the gaps. Ex-pat Arnie
  • Score: 13

8:48am Mon 21 Apr 14

2ndCitySeagull says...

mickagull wrote:
No excuses then, 3 4 or 5 cup finals coming up COME ON BOYS. We now need 2 top performances against teams battling at the bottom, not our strongest point.
Our record against bottom-half opposition is 1.77 points per game, compared to 1.23 PpG versus top-half, so time to put the record straight. Although we have had more wins, 11 against bottom half compared to 6 verses top half.
[quote][p][bold]mickagull[/bold] wrote: No excuses then, 3 4 or 5 cup finals coming up COME ON BOYS. We now need 2 top performances against teams battling at the bottom, not our strongest point.[/p][/quote]Our record against bottom-half opposition is 1.77 points per game, compared to 1.23 PpG versus top-half, so time to put the record straight. Although we have had more wins, 11 against bottom half compared to 6 verses top half. 2ndCitySeagull
  • Score: 4

8:57am Mon 21 Apr 14

hannover seagull says...

Huge pressure game today for us
Big crowd ,big expectations but as we know in this league anything can happen.We are nearly back to full strength so this is not about availability but about selection.Show us the way Oscar
We have to get this right from the off today.
I hope Kaz starts and gets the crowd going early as I feel his last performance was just a bit of a blip,off day ,no more or less
Also Upson to start at least to settle the defence,I am still not convinced about Dunk in pressure games
Anyway what a great day in the C`ship vital games all over the place
C,mon Brighton,its in your hands
UTA.................
...................
Huge pressure game today for us Big crowd ,big expectations but as we know in this league anything can happen.We are nearly back to full strength so this is not about availability but about selection.Show us the way Oscar We have to get this right from the off today. I hope Kaz starts and gets the crowd going early as I feel his last performance was just a bit of a blip,off day ,no more or less Also Upson to start at least to settle the defence,I am still not convinced about Dunk in pressure games Anyway what a great day in the C`ship vital games all over the place C,mon Brighton,its in your hands UTA................. ................... hannover seagull
  • Score: 7

9:07am Mon 21 Apr 14

Uckfield Seagull says...

Problem against "lesser" teams in the past is that we have been far too slow in our build up giving them time to get behind the ball and blunt us, las t4/5 games we have moved it far quicker, I hope that continues today then our players should win the game, I would not play Buckley today, no need, with the same starting 11 as Charlton, with everybody fit I see us having no problems today, rather keep Buckley back until 100%
Problem against "lesser" teams in the past is that we have been far too slow in our build up giving them time to get behind the ball and blunt us, las t4/5 games we have moved it far quicker, I hope that continues today then our players should win the game, I would not play Buckley today, no need, with the same starting 11 as Charlton, with everybody fit I see us having no problems today, rather keep Buckley back until 100% Uckfield Seagull
  • Score: 4

9:34am Mon 21 Apr 14

mark by the sea says...

Uckfield Seagull wrote:
Problem against "lesser" teams in the past is that we have been far too slow in our build up giving them time to get behind the ball and blunt us, las t4/5 games we have moved it far quicker, I hope that continues today then our players should win the game, I would not play Buckley today, no need, with the same starting 11 as Charlton, with everybody fit I see us having no problems today, rather keep Buckley back until 100%
Think we have sorted the midfield now the third central mid has gone, ince is a great defensive player, but Stephens and Andrews the three are to slow and tempo never kicks in, we need to get a few today, put our goal difference up to pressure other sides .. 4-1 today
[quote][p][bold]Uckfield Seagull[/bold] wrote: Problem against "lesser" teams in the past is that we have been far too slow in our build up giving them time to get behind the ball and blunt us, las t4/5 games we have moved it far quicker, I hope that continues today then our players should win the game, I would not play Buckley today, no need, with the same starting 11 as Charlton, with everybody fit I see us having no problems today, rather keep Buckley back until 100%[/p][/quote]Think we have sorted the midfield now the third central mid has gone, ince is a great defensive player, but Stephens and Andrews the three are to slow and tempo never kicks in, we need to get a few today, put our goal difference up to pressure other sides .. 4-1 today mark by the sea
  • Score: 3

9:41am Mon 21 Apr 14

brighton bluenose says...

chipsandgravy wrote:
We need a win of course today and I'm not counting my chickens but given last year's result against Blackpool this could be an ideal opportunity to boost our goal difference. The final reckoning is pretty likely to come down to that
More important than last seasons scoreline is the fact that out of their last 27 games Blackpool have won two, drawn five and lost twenty - even if Burnley only beat them by a single goal on Friday if we don't beat this mob convincingly we don't deserve to be in the top six
[quote][p][bold]chipsandgravy[/bold] wrote: We need a win of course today and I'm not counting my chickens but given last year's result against Blackpool this could be an ideal opportunity to boost our goal difference. The final reckoning is pretty likely to come down to that[/p][/quote]More important than last seasons scoreline is the fact that out of their last 27 games Blackpool have won two, drawn five and lost twenty - even if Burnley only beat them by a single goal on Friday if we don't beat this mob convincingly we don't deserve to be in the top six brighton bluenose
  • Score: 12

11:24am Mon 21 Apr 14

namgo49 says...

Wouldn't be surprised to see Ankergren or Brezovan in goal with Kusczak "injured" or "unwell" as he further prepares himself for is imminent departure. I do hope we are making urgent attempts to sign a quality replacement for next season.
Wouldn't be surprised to see Ankergren or Brezovan in goal with Kusczak "injured" or "unwell" as he further prepares himself for is imminent departure. I do hope we are making urgent attempts to sign a quality replacement for next season. namgo49
  • Score: -2

11:35am Mon 21 Apr 14

Blue and White Gulls says...

Ex-pat Arnie wrote:
russellsnr2 wrote:
Sorry Argus buy why do stories like this appear with no author/reporter putting a name to what for most part is like BBC and ITV repeated from previous days.
'Right-back Bruno equalised late on at Huddersfield' yes we no that!!
'scoring 11 times during a five-match unbeaten run'
'a return to contention for Will Buckley' Reported yesterday on here!!
'Craig Mackail-Smith has already provided a comeback'
'Nathan Jones said: "We're hoping we'll have more options for selection,' wow NJ makes a statement has Oscar lost his voice?
'Return of Matt Upson after injury ruled out the 35-year-old former England centre-half at Huddersfield.' Again reported yesterday on here.
Please leave the reporting of The Albion to those who do it best Andy, Brian and the supporters who go to the games!!.
You do realise this is a holiday weekend... why not let the journos have some time off between matches? These wire reports are fine for filling in the gaps.
You're right Ex-pat let them have a break. Come June and July there will be plenty of complaints about no news.
[quote][p][bold]Ex-pat Arnie[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]russellsnr2[/bold] wrote: Sorry Argus buy why do stories like this appear with no author/reporter putting a name to what for most part is like BBC and ITV repeated from previous days. 'Right-back Bruno equalised late on at Huddersfield' yes we no that!! 'scoring 11 times during a five-match unbeaten run' 'a return to contention for Will Buckley' Reported yesterday on here!! 'Craig Mackail-Smith has already provided a comeback' 'Nathan Jones said: "We're hoping we'll have more options for selection,' wow NJ makes a statement has Oscar lost his voice? 'Return of Matt Upson after injury ruled out the 35-year-old former England centre-half at Huddersfield.' Again reported yesterday on here. Please leave the reporting of The Albion to those who do it best Andy, Brian and the supporters who go to the games!!.[/p][/quote]You do realise this is a holiday weekend... why not let the journos have some time off between matches? These wire reports are fine for filling in the gaps.[/p][/quote]You're right Ex-pat let them have a break. Come June and July there will be plenty of complaints about no news. Blue and White Gulls
  • Score: 7

11:35am Mon 21 Apr 14

mickagull says...

2ndCitySeagull wrote:
mickagull wrote:
No excuses then, 3 4 or 5 cup finals coming up COME ON BOYS. We now need 2 top performances against teams battling at the bottom, not our strongest point.
Our record against bottom-half opposition is 1.77 points per game, compared to 1.23 PpG versus top-half, so time to put the record straight. Although we have had more wins, 11 against bottom half compared to 6 verses top half.
Thanks stato, 1.77 or 1.23 is not good enough for us. We need 3 and 3 and 3. But thanks for taking the time I'm impressed.
[quote][p][bold]2ndCitySeagull[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]mickagull[/bold] wrote: No excuses then, 3 4 or 5 cup finals coming up COME ON BOYS. We now need 2 top performances against teams battling at the bottom, not our strongest point.[/p][/quote]Our record against bottom-half opposition is 1.77 points per game, compared to 1.23 PpG versus top-half, so time to put the record straight. Although we have had more wins, 11 against bottom half compared to 6 verses top half.[/p][/quote]Thanks stato, 1.77 or 1.23 is not good enough for us. We need 3 and 3 and 3. But thanks for taking the time I'm impressed. mickagull
  • Score: 0

11:41am Mon 21 Apr 14

Chi Gull says...

Lets just win and get 3 points. If we score a few, that's a bonus at this stage of the season. We already have a better goal difference than most around us. Only Reading could probably have a better gd if we get caught. If we keep winning then gd doesn't matter.

Same line up as Charlton for me - with options off the bench.
Lets just win and get 3 points. If we score a few, that's a bonus at this stage of the season. We already have a better goal difference than most around us. Only Reading could probably have a better gd if we get caught. If we keep winning then gd doesn't matter. Same line up as Charlton for me - with options off the bench. Chi Gull
  • Score: 4

11:47am Mon 21 Apr 14

Mancgulled says...

Stick with the Leicester line-up - just because we drew with Hudds doesn't mean it won't be as effective today. Hudds stopped playing and resorted to timewasting - Blackpool have to push forward to find that goal so we need pace to get behind them - Lingard and Ulloa for me - Macka later on if needs be - although if Bucka is fit - well - that will be a welcome selection problem for OG .... as far gull said a more pressing priority must be getting Upson back ... got to stay solid! Sell out today maybe ...
Stick with the Leicester line-up - just because we drew with Hudds doesn't mean it won't be as effective today. Hudds stopped playing and resorted to timewasting - Blackpool have to push forward to find that goal so we need pace to get behind them - Lingard and Ulloa for me - Macka later on if needs be - although if Bucka is fit - well - that will be a welcome selection problem for OG .... as far gull said a more pressing priority must be getting Upson back ... got to stay solid! Sell out today maybe ... Mancgulled
  • Score: 2

11:48am Mon 21 Apr 14

OldGull says...

Ex-pat Arnie wrote:
russellsnr2 wrote:
Sorry Argus buy why do stories like this appear with no author/reporter putting a name to what for most part is like BBC and ITV repeated from previous days.
'Right-back Bruno equalised late on at Huddersfield' yes we no that!!
'scoring 11 times during a five-match unbeaten run'
'a return to contention for Will Buckley' Reported yesterday on here!!
'Craig Mackail-Smith has already provided a comeback'
'Nathan Jones said: "We're hoping we'll have more options for selection,' wow NJ makes a statement has Oscar lost his voice?
'Return of Matt Upson after injury ruled out the 35-year-old former England centre-half at Huddersfield.' Again reported yesterday on here.
Please leave the reporting of The Albion to those who do it best Andy, Brian and the supporters who go to the games!!.
You do realise this is a holiday weekend... why not let the journos have some time off between matches? These wire reports are fine for filling in the gaps.
they also allow people to come on and complain.....
[quote][p][bold]Ex-pat Arnie[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]russellsnr2[/bold] wrote: Sorry Argus buy why do stories like this appear with no author/reporter putting a name to what for most part is like BBC and ITV repeated from previous days. 'Right-back Bruno equalised late on at Huddersfield' yes we no that!! 'scoring 11 times during a five-match unbeaten run' 'a return to contention for Will Buckley' Reported yesterday on here!! 'Craig Mackail-Smith has already provided a comeback' 'Nathan Jones said: "We're hoping we'll have more options for selection,' wow NJ makes a statement has Oscar lost his voice? 'Return of Matt Upson after injury ruled out the 35-year-old former England centre-half at Huddersfield.' Again reported yesterday on here. Please leave the reporting of The Albion to those who do it best Andy, Brian and the supporters who go to the games!!.[/p][/quote]You do realise this is a holiday weekend... why not let the journos have some time off between matches? These wire reports are fine for filling in the gaps.[/p][/quote]they also allow people to come on and complain..... OldGull
  • Score: 2

12:05pm Mon 21 Apr 14

bbb1969 says...

My team for today
Kuz ( Casp if TK is not with it)
Bruno Greer Upson (Dunk if not ok) Ward
Ince Stephens
March
Lingard Ulloa lua

subs. Another gk, the other cb rodders andrews buckers cms
My team for today Kuz ( Casp if TK is not with it) Bruno Greer Upson (Dunk if not ok) Ward Ince Stephens March Lingard Ulloa lua subs. Another gk, the other cb rodders andrews buckers cms bbb1969
  • Score: 0

12:10pm Mon 21 Apr 14

Guernsey gull says...

Firepower , is I feel a bit ott. Hoskins hadn't played for 14 months, Buckers for a few games and us always likely to break down with the hammy.
Good news none the less I suppose, but more important at moment us to have Upson fit ,and back the the defence.
Start with same line up as recently, plus Upson, and we still have options with CMS and Buckers on the bench.
Can't make it today but will be glued to seagull player.
Nearly forgot to say, keeping fingers crossed that TK hiccups have passed, and he is 100 % with us and the team again.
Come on Oscar ,be brave ,go for it, nothing to gain by being defensive.
SEAGULLS. ! !
Firepower , is I feel a bit ott. Hoskins hadn't played for 14 months, Buckers for a few games and us always likely to break down with the hammy. Good news none the less I suppose, but more important at moment us to have Upson fit ,and back the the defence. Start with same line up as recently, plus Upson, and we still have options with CMS and Buckers on the bench. Can't make it today but will be glued to seagull player. Nearly forgot to say, keeping fingers crossed that TK hiccups have passed, and he is 100 % with us and the team again. Come on Oscar ,be brave ,go for it, nothing to gain by being defensive. SEAGULLS. ! ! Guernsey gull
  • Score: 5

12:46pm Mon 21 Apr 14

VegasSeagull says...

There are a whole lot of problems within the Blackpool FC, and those problems are showing on the park, on the terraces and in the backrooms of the club. When a coach hits one of his own players for not being quick enough to come on as a sub, as happeed with Dobbie in their last match, and fans throw tennis balls and oranges onto the pitch, well them you know that the dressing room must be in real turmoil.

If we can take quick control of this match today, get an early goal, all the problems that Blackpool have could see the player's heads drop real quick and they might just surrender. We need to be ruthless today, turn the screws on a team, and club, that is in full self destruct mode, and we have the players to do it.
There are a whole lot of problems within the Blackpool FC, and those problems are showing on the park, on the terraces and in the backrooms of the club. When a coach hits one of his own players for not being quick enough to come on as a sub, as happeed with Dobbie in their last match, and fans throw tennis balls and oranges onto the pitch, well them you know that the dressing room must be in real turmoil. If we can take quick control of this match today, get an early goal, all the problems that Blackpool have could see the player's heads drop real quick and they might just surrender. We need to be ruthless today, turn the screws on a team, and club, that is in full self destruct mode, and we have the players to do it. VegasSeagull
  • Score: -1

7:28pm Mon 21 Apr 14

mickagull says...

2ndCitySeagull wrote:
mickagull wrote:
No excuses then, 3 4 or 5 cup finals coming up COME ON BOYS. We now need 2 top performances against teams battling at the bottom, not our strongest point.
Our record against bottom-half opposition is 1.77 points per game, compared to 1.23 PpG versus top-half, so time to put the record straight. Although we have had more wins, 11 against bottom half compared to 6 verses top half.
Sorry told you, give us a top 6 club to play.
[quote][p][bold]2ndCitySeagull[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]mickagull[/bold] wrote: No excuses then, 3 4 or 5 cup finals coming up COME ON BOYS. We now need 2 top performances against teams battling at the bottom, not our strongest point.[/p][/quote]Our record against bottom-half opposition is 1.77 points per game, compared to 1.23 PpG versus top-half, so time to put the record straight. Although we have had more wins, 11 against bottom half compared to 6 verses top half.[/p][/quote]Sorry told you, give us a top 6 club to play. mickagull
  • Score: 0

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