Craig Mackail-Smith insists being out for so long through injury has fuelled his hunger to do well for Albion.

The Scotland striker is hoping to play a full part in Sami Hyypia’s first campaign as Seagulls boss.

It has been a frustrating period in the career of the forward who joined Albion for an initial £2.5million from Peterborough in 2011.

Mackail-Smith scored ten goals in his debut season with the club but, having improved on that by one in 2012-13, he suffered a ruptured Achilles in a game with Bristol City in March 2013 which ruled him out for 13 months.

The 30-year-old returned at the back end of last season, making seven substitute appearances, including coming on in both play-off semi-final legs against Derby County.

He is still working closely with Albion’s physio to regain maximum fitness but admits the agonising period on the sidelines has acted as a spur to put himself back into contention for a starting place under new manager Hyypia.

Mackail-Smith told The Argus: “I just want to enjoy the season because I have missed so much football.

“The first two seasons (at Albion), I tried too hard and I let everything get to me when it wasn’t going well so the injury was a good kick up the backside.

“It made me realise I want to enjoy football, because it can be taken away too quickly.

“I just want to get fit, make sure I get through pre-season well and relax, score lots of goals and hopefully help Brighton to promotion.”