Albion kick off the new year riding high in Division Two, well positioned for a second successive crack at promotion.

But to listen to a very small minority of Brighton supporters one could be mistaken for thinking that Peter Taylor's men were actually fighting relegation.

Added to the equation is the fact that on Saturday, weather permitting, Taylor takes his charges into the third round of the FA Cup for the first time in years, bearing in mind the last time Albion were at this stage of arguably the world's greatest competition Charles and Diana were still signing the same Christmas Card!

But these hard facts don't seem to cut much ice with the anti-Taylor faction. In all the years I have followed the Albion I can never recall any incoming manager, including Messrs Lloyd and Case, getting so much criticism so early in his managerial reign.

And unfortunately for Peter Taylor the biggest monkey on his back appears to be The Ghost of Micky Adams.

As far as I'm concerned Micky Adams was without doubt one of the finest managers this club have ever had but he has gone and I think Albion will be back playing at the Goldstone before he returns as Brighton manager. Therefore, the memories of his time at the Albion, regardless of how fantastic they were, should be consigned to the pages of Tim Carder's next Albion history book.

The snipers and the knockers cite the fact that the Albion have twice in the last three matches thrown away a two goal lead, and of course the Albion never did that under Micky?

Micky would be the first to admit that his current charges probably went one better than the Albion last Saturday, not only throwing away a similar lead but against a team of nine men!

To listen to some supporters one could be mistaken for thinking that under Micky, Albion played well in every single game and swept all before them.

Have this section of the Albion support developed Stalinistic traits, have the home defeats at Withdean of the last couple of seasons by the likes of Rochdale, Chester, Plymouth, Northampton and Kidderminster all been expunged from the record books?

The good in the Adams era far outweighed the bad, but as for looking back through rose coloured, or should that be blue and white, spectacles, come on?

The fact that Peter Taylor has a proven track record at this level as well as superb coaching credentials are apparently overlooked. He has inherited a good team - the stock criticism levelled at Taylor by his detractors - but he's not the first person at the club to have that stroke of fortune.

In the summer of 1976 Alan Mullery took over the late Peter Taylor's team, he didn't make an addition to the squad until well after Christmas. When Albion got promoted in May 1977, I can't recall Taylor getting any credit or Mullery having the inherited team accusation levelled at him.

But 25 years later the current Albion boss finds himself between a rock and a hard place. I have no doubt that if Leicester get relegated from the Premiership, he will get blamed for that and if the Albion do make it to Division One he won't receive the credit due to him by a number of fans.

I firmly believe the Albion are on course to get promoted again, whether automatically or by the play-offs only time will tell. The bottom line is that when Dick Knight hired Micky Adams at Easter in 1999, he got the right man and he's done the same again with Peter Taylor.

On the subject of chairman I think if Bradford's Geoffrey Richmond was down to his last pound he'd still have more money than sense judging by his latest managerial appointment. Nicky Law in Division One, do me a favour!

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