Seagulls express striker relief

Poyet pleased to still have Mackail-Smith on his books

Craig Mackail-Smith: Was the subject of interest from Norwich over the summer

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Brighton boss Gus Poyet has expressed his relief at having kept Craig Mackail-Smith out of Norwich's clutches during the summer transfer window.

The Canaries saw one offer for the Scotland international knocked back by the Seagulls, but kept them sweating on an improved bid right up until the deadline passed.

As it happens, no second approach materialised, allowing Poyet to rest a little easier on 1st September.

There is, however, every chance that interest will be rekindled in January, especially if Mackail-Smith can build on a flying start to the season which has seen him net four times in as many appearances.

On a nervy window for the Seagulls, Poyet revealed to The Argus: "It was very close.

"There was a moment when you get a phone call and someone tells you - I don't want to say who - they are going to do it and then you start to think 'Please no'.

"There was that tension all the time. Probably at about six or seven o'clock we just decided we were not taking anything but we didn't get the call anyway then so we didn't have to make that decision."

Value

Brighton paid Peterborough £2.5million for Mackail-Smith in 2011 and Poyet appreciates that it will be difficult to keep the 28-year-old away from the Premier League for long.

"The problem is there is a value and it's very difficult to say no, especially to players like Macca," he said.

"They want to play at the highest level so the easiest way for me as manager and the players is to get promoted together.

"You need to let people have the chance to play in the Premier League so it's very difficult if they (Norwich) make a very, very good offer, to say no. I'm pleased that they didn't."