Oscar Garcia says leading Albion into the Premier League would be the highlight of his career.
The head coach won domestic and European trophies with Barcelona, played for his country and guided Maccabi Tel Aviv to their first Israeli title for a decade last season.
But Oscar, 41, has revealed steering the Seagulls to the top flight from behind in the Championship play-offs against Derby County in his debut season in English football would top the lot. He said: “Yes, absolutely, because I am a young manager. I won a title in Tel Aviv, which was very important for me.
“I made history in the Barcelona youth department because in my first year I won all the titles but to go with Brighton to the Premier League, of course it will be there.
“As a player you feel different because you are part of a group and you have a manager. As a manager you control most things. I think it’s different.”
Albion go into tomorrow’s second leg against Derby at the iPro Stadium (5.15) 2-1 down but Oscar is buoyed by their away record.
The Seagulls have won four and drawn three of their last eight games on the road, including a resounding 4-1 victory at champions Leicester, as they bid to pull off an improbable recovery to reach the Wembley final against Wigan or QPR in a fortnight.
Oscar said: “We have showed we can beat big teams away from home. We never give up and I think the tie is very much alive.
“To be more accurate in front of goal is the main thing. If we’d had players with higher totals (goals) we wouldn’t have needed to wait until the last day to get into the play-offs.
“But this is something we are working very hard on in training sessions to try to improve. Hopefully we can change this on Sunday.”
- Stats don't lie - but Colunga expects to improve on his showing at Swindon
- Inside track - Give Baldock support and he'll get you goals
- It's Albion v Albion as Hyypia's men face tricky cup trip
- Baldock fancies another promotion push as he signs four-year Albion deal
- Signings bonanza - Hyypia hails quality squad as Baldock makes it ELEVEN