Brighton: Andrew Crofts relishing Sami Hyypia arrival

Sami Hyypia
Hyypia spent a decade at Liverpool and won over 100 caps for Finland during his playing days

Brighton midfielder Andrew Crofts says the appointment of Sami Hyypia as their new boss is "unbelievable".

The 40-year-old agreed a three-year deal with the Seagulls last month.

"I'm loving it. I think it is an unbelievable appointment by the chairman," Crofts, 30, told BBC Sussex.

"It has been four weeks I have worked with him so far and I can't speak highly enough of him. The boys have really taken to how he wants to approach the game."

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Injury comeback pleases Crofts

Hyypia spent a decade of his playing career at Liverpool, winning the FA Cup, League Cup, Uefa Cup and Champions League during his time in England.

The centre-back won over 100 caps for Finland and retired from playing at the age of 37 in 2011. His first management job was at Bayer Leverkusen but he was sacked by the German Bundesliga side in April after a run of one win in 12 matches.

"His career as a player speaks for itself," Crofts added. "I think he is going to be a great manager.

"My family are all Liverpool fans and when he was appointed they were all onto me straight away.

"As a player, you have that respect for him. When someone has done what they have done and had the career they have had, you can only listen, get better and improve.

"I am going to work as hard as I can to put in a good season for him."

Andrew Crofts
Crofts is in his second spell at Brighton, having rejoined the club in 2012 following two years with Norwich

Crofts made his return to action on Wednesday night following six months out with a knee injury.

The former Gillingham and Norwich man, who sustained cruciate ligament damage in January, played the last 20 minutes of Albion's pre-season match at Crawley Town, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

"When someone tells you that you are going to be out for six to nine months you think it is miles away," he said. "I have done a lot of hard graft and to get out there with the boys for the last 20 minutes is a big day for me.

"I saw the specialist in London and he was really happy with the progress I have made.

"I have been lucky as I have played over 400 games and always looked after myself. That has helped me.

"I have had a great medical team behind me and have been doing a lot of one-to-one stuff with the physio. I felt sharp and just want to keep building on it."

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