Johnny Cantor: December will be a key period but Albion are motivated, organised and resilient
It was always going to be an intense night. Little did I know that the words in my preview on BBC Sussex and BBC South Today '˜a potentially explosive atmosphere' would sadly come to be a reality.
Authorities and the clubs are looking into the incidents on Tuesday night but the players must move on. It must have been difficult at times especially for goalkeeper Mathew Ryan as the red smoke bellowed across his six yard box. Credit to him and the players for their focus.
Now the squad must turn their attentions to Liverpool. There is an increased intensity in the Premier League and although the players were used to two games in a week in the Championship, it must take more out of you in the division above.
Saying that, the adrenalin must flow when you have a team as big as Liverpool in town. You could view an unbeaten run of six games at home as a good period but when you know the last four have been draws, fans may begin to have concerns
I have said on many occasions that December is a key period but with 17 points already on the board the Albion have some slack, but not much. Newcastle have seen how easy it is in this division to slip into a run of defeats.
Motivation certainly won’t be an issue. The manager may choose to jiggle things round and introduce a few fresh legs. Stopping Jurgen Klopp’s side won’t be easy with the pace of Mane and Salah always a threat but the Seagulls proved at Old Trafford they have the organisation and resilience to make it tough for their opponents.
They will have to be at their best on Saturday, that’s for sure. Forget the trip to Old Trafford, forget the intensity of the visit of Palace this week, forget the game at Wembley at Spurs this month. Stay in the moment. Supporters are certainly absorbing every day and every game and if the players do the same they have the ability to stay at the top of the pack of teams behind them in mid-table.
A win may be unlikely on Saturday but it is a possibility. A draw would add another point to the total. A defeat isn’t the end of the world but puts a little more pressure on the game next Saturday at Huddersfield.
Whatever happens, we are in for an intriguing few weeks.