Harty on the Albion, Mike Tindall and Gary Speed

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BRIGHTON’s Dickensian Championship campaign, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”, continues this week with a peak rather than a trough.

A vital, but ultimately unimpressive, win at home to Coventry was followed by mid-week success at Derby, bringing Steve Cotteril’s Forest to the Amex on Saturday with the Albion just outside a play-off place on goal difference.

The school of thought amongst some fans that Brighton should look to mid-table security rather than play-off contention is misplaced – the Championship is without doubt one of the most open and competitive leagues in Europe and, if they get to the transfer window in January still in contention, I would expect some serious transfer dealings.

To an extent the Albion are victims of their own success, the knockers and the doubters are waiting for the Amex honeymoon period to end and for the crowds to fall away but, if the team stay in any kind of league contention, that simply won’t happen.

Can the club sustain Premiership football?

With Tony Bloom in control anything is possible.

n Defence lawyers around the globe will possibly be having a total rethink about how they work this week after England Rugby international Mike Tindall was reinstated into the elite national squad and had his £25,000 fine cut by 10 grand.

When asked to explain that fateful night out in New Zealand during the World Cup his reply, and the basis of his defence was, he couldn’t remember what happened!

n And finally, whilst this is predominantly a sports column, I couldn’t let events of the last few days go without some kind of comment.

In this day-and-age of huge wages, fast cars and decadent life styles, Gary Speed optimised everything that was good about football.

Anyone who watched him on BBC’s Football Focus on Saturday could not have even begun to comprehend how the tragic events of the next 24 hours would develop.

Life is fast and demanding, it can easily get on top of you and a number may have a tendency to take too much on.

Above all, life is precious, sadly Gary Speed has lost his, but if others get theirs back on track as result of this tragic event, then his legacy will not only be remembered just for his glittering football career.