Sami Hyypia will lead from the front as he gets down to work with the Albion players at the start of pre-season training today.

And he can make it third time lucky for the Seagulls in their bid to reach the Premier League.

That is the verdict of former Liverpool team-mate Neil Mellor on the man identified to steer Albion to the top flight following consecutive near misses in the Championship play-offs under Gus Poyet and Oscar Garcia.

Ex-striker Mellor knows what makes Hyypia tick. He spent four seasons in the Anfield dressing room with the towering Finn as part of the squad that won the Champions League and FA Cup under Rafael Benitez, and the League Cup under Gerard Houllier.

The son of former Albion favourite Ian ‘Spider’ Mellor, also knows what the players can expect at the Seagulls’ new £30 million training base and academy in Lancing with Hyypia in command.

Mellor told The Argus: “Sami was always at the front at pre-season. Coming back to pre-season with the Brighton lads I wouldn’t be surprised if he was at the front, overtaking many of the players. It’s a warning to those players if the manager is overtaking you!

“He was a fantastic presence within the changing room. He was a leader who was really focused on succeeeding on the pitch. He was absolutely superb in his Liverpool career.

“One thing about Sami is he was almost an adopted scouser. He was over in England for so long and he completely understood the way the English game needed to be played. That’s why he was so successful.”