9:30am Monday 3rd September 2012
By Andy Naylor
Albion came within a whisker of losing goal hero Craig Mackail-Smith to Norwich at the end of the transfer window.
They now face an anxious wait to see if the Canaries renew their interest and meet the asking price in January.
The Seagulls rejected an undisclosed bid from Norwich but were sweating on them returning with an improve offer right up until the final hours of the window closing on Friday night.
Boss Gus Poyet revealed to The Argus: “It was very close. There was a moment when you get a phone call and someone tells you – I don’t want to say who – they are going to do it and then you start to think ‘Please no’.
“There was that tension all the time. Probably at about six or seven o’clock we just decided we were not taking anything but we didn’t get the call anyway then so we didn’t have to make that decision.”
Poyet’s relief multiplied as two stunning strikes by Mackail-Smith helped Albion to a 3-1 win at Burnley on Saturday.
The Seagulls’ £2.5 million record buy also scored twice in the previous game against Barnsley and is bound to attract more transfer attention when the window re-opens in the New Year if his red-hot start to the season continues. Poyet said: “The problem is there is a value and it’s very difficult to say no, especially to players like Macca. They want to play at the highest level so the easiest way for me as manager and the players is to get promoted together.
“You need to let people have the chance to play in the Premier League so it’s very difficult if they (Norwich) make a very, very good offer, to say no. I’m pleased that they didn’t.”
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