Calls for inclusion of the Derry Pele intensify as fans look for flair

Fans are hoping to see Paddy McCourt from the start at Watford
Fans are hoping to see Paddy McCourt from the start at Watford

The clamour for Paddy McCourt to start an Albion game shows no signs of quietening.

The clamour among sections of the Seagulls support for the mercurial Paddy McCourt to start an Albion game shows no signs of quietening ahead of tomorrow’s (Saturday) trip to Watford.

McCourt again impressed from the bench during the Albion’s midweek draw after equally-encouraging, albeit brief, cameos against Blackpool and Nottingham Forest.

The Northern Ireland international, who was this week recalled to the national squad, has played less than 45 minutes of first team football in the league since signing for the Seagulls but that has no stopped him showing supporters glimpses of his undoubted creative talents, not least in the Albion’s 3-0 Capital One Cup win at Burton.

And, with the Albion struggling to score in recent league games, the feeling among many Amex regulars is that it might be time to throw the one-time Celtic player in from the off.

Sami Hyypiä has spoken enthusiastically about the player’s abilities and said McCourt was showing signs of improving his fitness and it could be he gets his first league start tomorrow.

However, for all McCourt’s talents, it isn’t as simple as all being well once the Derry Pele is given more regular action. HeadtoHead

Against Cardiff in midweek, it was not in the creating of chances that Albion fell short - rather the taking of them.

Brighton clocked up 26 shots during the draw with Cardiff, with eight on target. Just one, Bruno’s speculative, probably slightly miss-hit, first half volley, found the net.

And therein lays the Seagulls main problem. The Albion are averaging 18 shots per game. That is second only to Norwich City in terms of the Championship.

They have, however, only nine league goals to show for it - the fourth lowest figure in the division.

In their last three league games, Brighton have scored once from 63 efforts.

Tomorrow they face a Watford team with no such problems. The Hornets have managed 19 goals from their ten league games so far, averaging just under two goals a game.

ActionManTeixeiraIn Matej Vydra and Troy Deeney, Watford boast one of the division’s most potent forward lines, and between them the pair have already managed seven league goals.

Fernando Forestieri is another stand-out attacking talent in the home side’s ranks, and the team which up until recently was managed by former Albion head coach Oscar Garcia, also has the likes of Ikechi Anya, Lloyd Dyer and Almen Abdi to call on.

Defensively, Watford have the impressive Gabriele Angella and experienced Gabriel Tamas in a back line in front of the at times erratic but often brilliant Heurelho Gomes.

They go into tomorrow’s match on the back a four match unbeaten run which includes a hard-fought draw at Blackburn and a good home win over Brentford earlier this week. Vydra is on a particularly good streak, having scored in three of the last four games.

Albion team news

Likely line-up: Stockdale, Bruno, Greer, Dunk, Bennett, Holla, Crofts, Gardner, Teixeira, Colunga, O’Grady

Likely subs: Walton, Hughes, Ince, Toko, McCourt, Lua Lua, Baldock