Hyypia: Championship more important than League Cup

Sami Hyypia

Sami Hyypia wants to succeed in the League Cup, but does not want Brighton's Championship form to suffer in the process.

The Seagulls have suffered a faltering start to the season under new head coach Hyypia, winning just two of their eight games to sit three points outside the relegation places.

However, wins over Cheltenham and Swindon have seen them progress into the third round of the League Cup, and they face a third consecutive lower league team in Burton Albion on Wednesday evening.

Despite losing two consecutive league games, with AFC Wimbledon and Bury taking points off of the Brewers in the last week, they still sit second in the League Two table, and have yet to lose at home this season - having knocked out Wigan and QPR in the first and second round of the League Cup.

Two victories over higher division teams, including the Premier League based QPR, will give Albion belief that they can defeat Brighton, and Hyypia is aware that the Seagulls must enter the game with the right attitude if they are to not be embarrassed in the competition.

The former Liverpool man told the official Seagulls website: “We need to make sure we have the right attitude from the start until the end of the game, because if you start the game very well and after half hour you don’t do anything more, then we won't get a good result.

“If a bigger team takes it easy and they take the attitude that it’s not a very important competition and players say they wouldn’t really like to be on the field to play this type of game, then it all goes wrong.

“That’s one thing that we need to remember. In a cup competition anything is possible and anything can happen on the day. The result and whoever goes through is due to the actual form on that day.”

Whilst a tie against Albion represents a good chance for progression into the last-16 of the tournament, Hyypia doesn’t want the competition to draw focus away from the Championship, with fans always looking at the league table to judge seasonal performance.

He added: “We’re going to have a line-up tomorrow that I think can win the game. Every competition is important, but I think the main thing which everyone looks at at the end of the year is the league, even if you go to the semi-final of the League Cup and finish 18th in the league then I don’t think anyone can be very satisfied with how the season has gone.”

There is no denying that Brighton have to improve if they want to move up the Championship table, and one way to improve on- and off-pitch form is a good cup run, and, for that reason, Hyypia should not be writing off the League Cup at such an early date.

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