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13 June 2014

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Sami Hyypia says he is ready for the Championship and his aim is to instil a winning mentality into his players.

The Finn insists that the rigours of a long season is nothing new for him, having guided Bayer Leverkusen through a lengthy campaign in both the Bundesliga and Champions League.

He told, "I know it's a tough league; I expect it to be as tough as I've heard. It's not going to be easy, but I think I will learn a lot during this season.

“We will be playing a lot of games, but we had a lot of games last year when we played Champions League football as well, so that's nothing new for me.

“The club has had two good seasons and I'd love to make it even better. I'll do everything I can to match that and maybe go a step higher.

"I want to win every game. If everyone in the team has got the same kind of mentality and attitude, then I will be happy."
The new Albion manager also spoke about adding quality to the squad but also explained he he will give players from the academy a chance to break into the first-team.

"You have to sign a player with a purpose in mind. With the academy here hopefully a few of the youngsters will make the step to the first team.

“There's no number that we have in mind that we need to get. You don’t sign a player just for the sake of signing a player. There always has to be a purpose for signing a player.

“There's a good academy here, so I hope a few of the youngsters will make the step up to the first team.”

Despite Hyypia's desire to take the team forward quickly, Albion chairman Tony Bloom says that the new manager will be given time to settle into the job.

“At Brighton in the Championship, I expect lots of highs and some lows. So I think that experience will stand Sami in very good stead.
“What he's achieved as a player at Liverpool is obviously outstanding. His character and leadership at both Liverpool and most recently as a manager at Bayer Leverkusen stood out to us.

“He is a very good fit for this football club; I hope he is here for a long time and become a success.

“We will not put any pressure on him by saying that finishing outside the top six is no good. I am confident Sami will get the best out of the players and if all goes well, we will have a realistic chance of finishing in the top six.

“We want to have a realistic chance of getting promoted every season we are in the Championship; that is our goal.”

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