BARNSLEY boss Keith Hill is relishing the chance to pit his wits against Brighton boss Gus Poyet at the Amex Stadium tomorrow.
“He’s an exceptional manager and person,” said Hill.
“I studied for my pro-coaching licence with Gus and so I know all about the way he wants to play.
“We got on like a house on fire, but we don’t really keep in touch. I’ve got my own close-knit community of friends and he’s probably got his own.
“But there’s a lot of mutual admiration for him. I’ve learnt a lot from him from the coaching courses we’ve been on together.”
Hill also thinks highly of Poyet’s playing career.
“He was an excellent player, one of the best we’ve seen in the Premier League. and he’s very much respected.
“He was an assistant manager at Tottenham Hotspur while he was learning his trade and had time at Leeds before he took the managerial reigns at Brighton. He’s had unrivalled success since he walked into the door. There’s no question he’ll go on to bigger and better things.
“The good thing about Gus is that he’ll have success under his belt when he does walk into a top job one day in the Premier League.”
Barnsley last played Brighton in January, 2004, when they won 1-0 at the Withdean Stadium.
But in recent years the clubs have been competing in different divisions until the Seagulls won promotion back to the Championship.
“We’ve got to respect Brighton because it’s a difficult fixture,” stressed Hill. “They way they play is a real strength to them.
“They’re an excellent side and their aspirations are probably to achieve a play-off place.”