Ahead of the Brighton leg of their live tour, the Football Ramble took time out to discuss what it takes to get out of the Championship.
The Football Ramble, one of the largest independent podcasts, features Marcus Speller, Luke Moore, Jim Campbell and Pete Donaldson taking an irreverent look at the latest football stories.
When asked about what Brighton need to do to make it to the top flight of English football it was all about consistency.
Jim, a stand-up comedian, said: “Consistency is tough in the Championship because it’s such a long season.
“It’s making sure you get over the blips as quickly as possible because we see it all the time.
“Picking yourself up and dusting yourself off after that is a tough thing and you see teams that finally look ready to do it and think ‘actually these guys have got something now’. Leicester a few seasons ago were great and how they just tore it up and Bournemouth a a few seasons ago... Brighton look like they have a bit of that about them this season.”
The pod’s resident lower league fan is Portsmouth supporter Luke Moore, who harked back to his side’s 2003 promotion as a template on how the Seagulls could do it.
Luke said: “It’s such a long season, you have to treat those Tuesday night away games and those difficult games that you don’t really want to go to with the same energy that you do the home games at 3pm on a Saturday. It’s easy to get into a spiral. Your consistency goes and you’re in real trouble. A lot of it is to do with experience.
“Look at Brighton; they’ve got experience in both their manager and their players and what it takes to get up there. They’ve got players like Anthony Knockaert - arguably the best player in the Championship - and someone like Lewis Dunk who is vastly experienced even though he’s not that old. It’s all the cliched things like a solid spine.”
Marcus, who hosts the Ramble and charged with keeping everyone on track, said: “The thing is there are 46 games; if you lose a game you forget about it straight away. In the Premier League if you’re going for the title and you lose a game that’s quite bad because the team that wins the league sometimes only loses three, four, five games a season but in the Championship...”
“In the Football League you see it throughout. Portsmouth are so inconsistent in League Two but they’re still fifth. You still get right amongst it because there are so many games and they come so thick and fast... I think Brighton have got an excellent chance,” added Luke. “I also think that if they don’t get promoted this season Hughton will move on, players may move on and it will be difficult to raise themselves up again.”
With 15 games gone, Brighton currently sit in second place behind Newcastle. The Ramble were all in agreement that it looked like being two out of Newcastle, Brighton and Norwich being promoted.
“Newcastle are the ones who are the frontrunners of course, currently first with Benitez,” stated Marcus. “They are a Premier League club for crying out loud.”
He was backed up by Jim, who said: “Looking at Norwich’s performance against Brighton you have to say that, on current form, you’d think Newcastle top with Brighton second.”
Luke added: “You’re looking to us for assurance because you want them to get to the Premier League and we can’t offer you those assurances!”