Former Albion star Adam Virgo has called on fans to give Sami Hyypia time to impress as he takes charge at the Amex.
Hyypia, below right, will give his first press conference as Seagulls manager today and is also meeting club staff this week.
Local boy Virgo knows supporters will be anxious to see which signings follow and will hope for a third successive promotion push.
He backed Hyypia’s appointment but warned: “This could be the most difficult season yet at the Amex.
“Sami is an exciting appointment but a lot of players have left since last season.
“I think we might have to look at him building again next season with a view to really challenging the season after that – but I know fans don’t want to hear that.
“Sami is not here for the short term. He will have discussed signings and I think we need more pace out wide and more goals.
“Fans love new signings and they will want to be picking up The Argus and seeing which players have come in. They will want to see how the manager is being backed.
“But I see this as a season of change. If he gets us to the play-offs, great. But we just scraped in there last season, having done it comfortably the season before.”
Virgo says Hyypia’s old club could provide an example to follow.
He said: “You only have to look at Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool. They finished seventh in his first season but you could see he was trying to take things forward.
“Liverpool fans didn’t seem too disheartened and look how they did last season.”