Rarely has the emotional roller-coaster so familiar to all Albion diehards been better illustrated than by events in the last 48 hours.

On Wednesday their worst fears threatened to become reality. No new stadium, no manager, no hope.

Yesterday the sun was suddenly shining again.

The public inquiry into the new stadium plans for Falmer has been put back three months at the club's request and Steve Coppell has agreed a one-year contract to stay as manager.

Both, in their own way, are absolutely vital to Albion's future well-being.

Under Coppell's intellectual guidance the Seagulls should make a decent fist of an instant return to the First Division, but he appreciates the bigger picture.

Indeed, it explains why he was not prepared to commit himself, as chairman Dick Knight would have preferred, beyond next season.

"If the club had the promise of a new stadium and a deadline to get one it would put a different complexion on things," Coppell explained.

"Everything would be positive and upbeat. If we don't get it the mood will be downbeat. Withdean is not the club's home, we are tenants and it's not ideal.

"There are an awful lot of elements of the club that are non-League. Only the quality of the people made it a First Division club last season.

"We work in little bits around the city. I don't even have an office.

"In many ways the set-up is part time. A stadium would give it massive purpose and direction."

Coppell thought long and hard about Albion's offer of a new contract during a three-week break in the Far East.

Uppermost in his mind was over-expectancy. The Seagulls, of course, won the Second Division when they were last in it, but it is unrealistic to expect a repeat.

"Most of us realistically realise it is going to be hard," Coppell warned.

"One of the considerations I had in staying was that I feel this will be a particularly difficult season for Brighton because of expectations, substantiated by the bookmakers, that we will be promoted.

"For that to happen a lot of things have got to take place. There have got to be some astute signings and the core players of the team have got to be as hungry as they were two years ago.

"That is a big ask after promotion one year and relegation the next.

"If the players think they are First Divison players and shouldn't be in the Second Division we will get nowhere.

"Promotion is the aim and we have to prepare and play as if that is the priority.

"There has got to be a strong and determined attitude right from the first day.

"All egos have got to be left on the shelf and we have to get down to the nitty gritty of the Second Division."

The core players Coppell refers to inevitably include Bobby Zamora.

It is still my belief that it would be better for both club and player if he moves on.

Matt Holland's cut price switch to Portsmouth from Ipswich suggests the bottom has fallen out of the transfer market, but Coppell sees Zamora as an entirely different case.

"I am convinced he can make the next leap. As a striker at his age there is huge potential for him to develop and be sold on again," Coppell said.

The very real danger if Zamora does not go is that he will become demotivated playing for Albion.

That will certainly not be the case for Paul Brooker if the out-of-contract winger is reunited, as expected, with Micky Adams at Leicester.

"When I went in yesterday the lads were telling me the rumours about Leicester being in for him," Coppell said. "That might be a possible."

The fact that Coppell will not be joining Brooker through the exit door will be a huge source of relief to an overwhelming majority of fans.

"I looked back at the last seven months and I really enjoyed it," he said "I've worked with some fine people and the supporters treated me very well. I think a small minority will never welcome me 100 per cent because of the Crystal Palace connection, but they have been very fair to me so far and I cannot ask for more than that."

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