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Poyet: It's About Michel

6 August 2012

Gus Poyet wants the limelight to be on Michel Kuipers tomorrow night, when Albion take on Reading at the Amex to celebrate the Dutch keeper's testimonial.

With the new season starting just one week later, Poyet will be fielding a full-strength side but he has called for the Amex crowd to make it an unforgettable night for Kuipers.

He told seagulls.co.uk, "Tomorrow is about Michel. We will use his testimonial as preparation for the season but the main person and the main player that we need to focus on is Michel.

"I hope he enjoys the game as much as he can and I hope lots of people are coming to watch because he deserves it. He has done so much for this club.

"As soon as I arrived I realised that he knows everything about this club. He was in contact with everyone in the squad and I'm pleased that he is able to have his testimonial, and I'm looking forward to it.

The Uruguayan had the difficult decision to let the former Dutch Marine go at the end of the 2009/10 season but Poyet is pleased that he has kept in contact with the club.

"We always pay attention to the players who leave, especially with players like Michel. We knew that he had the chance to play for Crawley, and we are pleased that he's established himself there too. At the same time he has kept himself involved with this club and with Albion in the Community.

"We see him almost every week and he's always happy, he's always willing to help and he's always involved in things. He is the kind of person that we want to stay in contact with."

Meanwhile, the 44-year-old has challenged his players to back up Saturday's memorable defeat of Chelsea with a solid performance against Premier League new boys Reading.

"It will be a big test for my players. Prior to the game, the first few minutes and after the game will be about Michel, and rightly so, but I expect it to be a proper game when it gets going. This game is important to us and it will be for Reading too.

"They are better than last season because they have got some new players but the main thing is to try and do the basics again, like we did against Chelsea. We need to compete."

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