Charlie Oatway heaped praise on Cardiff City ahead of the game at the Cardiff City Stadium tomorrow night, but insisted there is still time for the chasing pack to close the gap on his former club.
The Bluebirds are eight points clear at the top of the Championship but Oatway told seagulls.co.uk, “It’s fantastic what’s happened to Cardiff and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer club, but there is still time for others to catch them.
“They were good to me when I was there as a player and I’ve still got friends there. They’ve got everything to cater for the Premier League and I wish them all the success but I still want them to finish one point below us if that is possible.
“When you look at our position in the league there are not many points between the clubs above and the teams below. Personally I think it will get a little bit closer too.
“There are clubs in and around Cardiff which are just as good as them but what they’ve done is consistently get results. Now we’re coming to the latter end of the season I think that it will be a lot closer. There are a few more twists and turns to come.
“They’re a strong side and they have been like the Manchester United of the Championship this season but we still have 15 games to go.
“They’re solid but the key factor for them is that they punish teams. When they get that one chance they put it in the net and then make it difficult for teams to break them down.”
The Seagulls are likely to come up against former Albion winger Craig Noone for the first time after the popular Liverpudlian departed the Amex during August, and Oatway has called for the players to put sentiment aside.
“I’m sure we’ll be texting each other after the game because if he gets success it couldn’t happen to a nicer kid to push on with his career, but when the players cross that white line it counts for nothing.
“They haven’t used him as much as what they did when he first went there but we’ve had a few reports on him. We know he’s still a big threat. Even if he just comes on for 20 or 25 minutes he’s still a big threat and if he plays he’s a player that we have to watch.
“He’s a talented boy and he’s a team player. He’s not one of these isolated players where you give him the ball and he does a bit and that’s it, he’ll work back and give you whatever he can.
“He’s a different type of player to Vicente but they’re so off the cuff that you can’t take anything for granted. They can do things that other players can’t do.”