Today’s FA Cup tie will be an emotional one for Micky Adams, but the former Albion boss has sounded a warning signal to the Seagulls by telling them his Vale side are capable of an upset at Vale Park.
He said, “Clearly it is an emotional game for me, but this is also a very big game for Port Vale Football Club. We have done really well getting to the fourth round.
“The financial implications have helped the club out enormously. There is no doubt we are punching above our weight in the league and probably the FA Cup, and that is credit to everyone here.
“We have been competitive all season even against the teams like Wolves with much bigger budgets. But I tell the team forget the money they are on, it’s 11 versus 11, go and try your best.
“If you look at our results this season, we usually win or we lose, and have only drawn about three all season – so we have to turn up. If we do, we can give Brighton a game.
“If we don’t and give them time and space to show their Championship quality, on a big pitch like Vale Park we will be in for a tough afternoon.
“We should probably have lost both games against Plymouth in the last round but showed great character, given seven or eight injuries in a small squad, to come through.”
It was that character that endeared Adams to Albion fans as the club’s manager, and during his first spell he led his side to the Third Division title.
He continued, “When I went to Brighton first they were playing at Gillingham, a 150-mile round trip from the city, but the dream even then was to get a great stadium in the Brighton area.
“That was what was sold to me by Dick Knight, to whom I owe a lot for that part of my career.
“It just took another 12 years after that for it to happen, long after my time. Brighton have it now, and I was absolutely delighted for them when they go it.”
Adams contribution to Albion was huge. The club has been in the doldrums for too long, and that championship-winning season was the beginning of a brand-new era for the club which has seen the club transformed into what it is today.
“Hopefully I played my small part in the resurrection of Brighton on the pitch - although I went on the protest marches and showed solidarity that way too.
“We put together a team that won the League Two championship, and then went on to win back-to-back championships the next season – though I had moved on to Leicester.
“We brought some good players in and made Brighton competitive again, a hard team to play against. We paid £100,000 for Bobby Zamora who was on about £150 a week at Bristol Rovers with Ian Holloway.
“He scored 70-odd goals in two and a bit seasons and went on to bigger things, and it is also pleasing the part Brighton played in his career.”
Micky Adams was talking to Hector Nunns
Albion v Doncaster at the Amex on February 8th, 3pm kick off. Tickets available online, at the Amex Ticket Office or via the telephone on 08443271901.