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CMS will come good, says Poyet
Craig Mackail-Smith has been backed to rediscover his goalscoring prowess next season with Albion.
Manager Gus Poyet is convinced the Seagulls’ record signing will find it easier in the Championship second time around.
Mackail-Smith endured a largely frustrating debut campaign on the South Coast after a £2.5 million move from Peterborough last summer.
The workaholic Scotland international striker ended up with a modest tally of nine league goals and ten in total, following 35 for Peterborough the previous season as they were promoted from League One.
Albion’s patient style of play appeared not to suit Mackail-Smith’s all-action characteristics but Poyet believes it is just a matter of time before everything clicks into place, especially if Spanish playmaker Vicente decides to re-sign. Poyet told The Argus: “It is a 100% sure Craig is going to have a better season than last season. I am convinced of that.
“He came to a new place with plenty of pressure because he was the most expensive signing in the history of the club, with a team playing a lot more possession than people think.
“People think Peterborough keep possession for long periods but we are slower than them. They keep possession going forward. Maybe we did that at the end more with Vicente in the side, when Macca was learning to be patient and waiting for us.”
Mackail-Smith has taken time out to visit a relative in New Zealand after a gruelling 56-game campaign for club and country. He reports back for pre-season training with the rest of the Albion squad on Monday week.
Poyet added: “I’m sure the rest will be perfect for him and it is going to be really easier next year.”
Meanwhile, Mackail-Smith is hoping for another memorable experience at the expanded Amex to launch Albion’s 2012-13 Championship season when the league fixtures are released on Monday morning.
Albion christened their new stadium by coming from behind to beat Doncaster 2-1 on the opening day last season.
Mackail-Smith tweeted: “Would love our first game at home in front of 30,000 fans. Would love a start to the season like last season. Fans were amazing, result was great.”
Mackail-Smith is unlikely to get his wish. Albion are anticipating an away start on August 18, especially as they have asked to be on their travels a fortnight later to avoid a clash with the Pride Festival.