The Kooks Say: Gus For United?

Brighton fan and Kooks drummer Paul Garred explains why he thinks their boss is destined for big things...

Last Updated: 16/09/11 at 13:35 Post Comment

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It's all going quite well for Brighton at the moment...
Yeah, it's been phenomenal. I've been going since I was seven, and it's not been the easiest time - they've certainly tested my patience! I used to go every week with my dad, even when we were at the old Goldstone Ground, which was falling to bits, and when the board were ruining the club.

The new ground looks pretty special...
It's amazing - it's like a theatre. And it's only three-quarters finished too - I think they can add another tier to it if we get promoted to the Premier League. The atmosphere is incredible - they've done a fantastic job. It certainly makes a change going from the Withdean to that.

As much as anything, it's probably just nice to have a home.
Yeah. I couldn't stand the Withdean - it was unique and beautiful in a way, but it wasn't a football ground. We were just happy to still be around to be honest - we've never given up hope. We used to go to Gillingham when we played there - it was a bit like a war-time spirit up there.

What difference has Gus Poyet made?
The quality of football is just fantastic. Real, attacking, attractive, positive football. The signings he has made have not just been stabs in the dark - he really does his homework. We signed a midfielder called Ryan Harley, really from nowhere in the summer - he'd been at Swansea but not really played, and he looks really good. He has a real eye for a player. Vicente is obviously a calculated risk, but I was quite surprised nobody else took him.

Teams like Blackpool and Swansea have showed that you can get promoted playing attacking football...
Exactly. If you gave me the choice between Gus and someone like Sven Goran Eriksson, I'd take Gus every time. I've been following his career for quite a while - once Poyet went to Spurs, Leeds seemed to fall apart a bit, and it looked like he had a bit of a peripheral role at Spurs. He'll take Brighton far I'm sure - I think he'll take us to the Premier League. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up at Manchester United when Fergie goes.

It can only be good for the game, don't you think?
Bar a few, the quality in the Championship has gone up, and the Premier League has gone down. Brighton are playing 'carpet football', and a few have twigged that it can work. If that quality can drop down the leagues, then young English players can adapt to that style of football, and maybe stop some of the long-ball stuff. It makes me feel proud to be watching lower-league football.

Who have been your favourite players you've seen for Brighton?
Well...we've had some brilliant players down the years. Obviously there was Bobby Zamora, who was brilliant for us - a real rough diamond, but Spurs didn't used him properly when he went there. Paul Brooker was a good nifty winger, but he got injured. Of the current lot, Craig Noon cost £300,000 and looks like a steal - good close control and pace, and his crossing has improved. Liam Bridcutt is a bit of a Makelele - everything goes through him. And then Craig Mackail-Smith's effort is incredible. He brings everyone else in.

On to the band, the new album is out now - how are you feeling about it?
Wonderful - we're really proud of it. Our producer is sort of our fifth member, and he comes from a more electronic background, so he's really got his finger on the pulse with that sort of thing. He's melded that and the more guitar-based sounds together and it sounds great. Things like mixing drum loops with live drums - we've used some unusual things as well - I play a toy drum kit on one of the songs.

And the tour starts soon...
Yeah, I hurt my arm so I haven't toured for a while, so I'm looking forward to it. We're just really happy to be playing new songs - they bring a new energy to the band, you know? The mood in the camp is good...


The Kooks' new album 'Junk Of The Heart' and their new single 'Is It Me' are both out now. Their tour starts in Glasgow on September 30.

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