With Peterborough United travelling to Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday (6 November, 7.45pm) there was obviously only one person theposh.com wanted to interview ahead of the game – Craig Mackail-Smith.
When Mackail-Smith left the club two seasons ago he exited with a host of goals and a hero’s tag, yet his move to Brighton didn’t start as planned. He struggled to find the back of the net last season, however he has been very much among the goals this term and he even has a new goal celebration to match his new form.
Talking about his recent goal streak Mackail-Smith said: 'It’s nice to be back on the score sheet. When I moved to Brighton we struggled to find goals and that was frustrating for me but now things are going well.
I’ve just come back from injury but feel like I’ve really hit form again.'
That injury to his hamstring came seven games ago in a 2-1 win against Millwall and saw him miss three games. Incidentally the Seagulls haven’t won since that match.
'The injury came at the wrong time for me. I was on a bit of a run and while I was injured the club found it hard to score, so it wasn’t good for me or them,' explained Mackail-Smith.
Looking ahead to Tuesday’s game Mackail-Smith admitted that the match will be important for both sides. 'Both teams have struggled of late. It’s definitely going to be an entertaining one, there should be plenty of goals.
'I’m excited to be playing Peterborough. I know a few of the boys and we’ll have a chat and laugh before the game but once I get on the pitch I have a job to do and that’s be a striker for Brighton. Posh know my strengths and weaknesses and I know theirs so there’s not an advantage or weakness for any team. I just have to stick at what I’m good at, being a striker.'
Mackail-Smith was also quick to admit that his move from Posh to Brighton was difficult to adapt to at first. 'At Peterborough we used to be very attack minded, if they (the opposition) scored four we would come back and score five which was great for me. When I first moved to Brighton we didn’t create many chances and that was very hard to adapt to, but now we’re creating more chances and I am really enjoying it.'
Mackail-Smith’s most recent goals came last Friday in a 2-2 draw with Leeds United. Despite scoring both goals it was his penalty miss that made the headlines, that and the introduction of the ‘seagull’, his new goal celebration.
'Obviously I’m disappointed to have missed the penalty, I should have just smashed it down the middle of the goal, but I have to get over it. The new goal celebration was the fans idea. The lads used to give me stick for just doing a roly poly to celebrate so a local radio station held a competition to come up with something more interesting which is where the ‘seagull’ came from. Although I still get stick for doing that but it doesn’t bother me anymore.'
And despite Brighton struggling at late Mackail-Smith is clear what the aim for the club is this season. 'Promotion. There are nine or 10 teams in the mix at the moment. It’s a very tight league but we want to be up there at the end of the season.'
By Kelly Green