Taylor drops two divisions to take reins at Brighton

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The Independent Online

Peter Taylor has been appointed Brighton manager on a three-year contract, replacing Micky Adams, who left last week to take up the post of assistant manager to Dave Bassett at Leicester City.

Taylor was sacked as Leicester manager after a string of results that left them bottom of the Premiership. The Foxes only took five points from their opening eight games. They suffered a 5-0 home defeat on the opening day to newly-promoted Bolton and 4-0 to Arsenal at Highbury.

"I am pleased to be getting back into management quickly and am absolutely delighted it's with Brighton, a club with great potential because of its tremendous following," Taylor said. "I remember a cup game of theirs I saw at Canvey Island a few years ago when the club was at its lowest ebb and being amazed at the fantastic turn-out of supporters that day. Fans like that deserve the success they have enjoyed recently and I hope to give them more in the future."

The Brighton chairman Dick Knight said: "Peter Taylor's management experience at both Nationwide and higher levels of football makes him ideal for the Albion, a club poised to continue its climb up the league ladder.

"He quickly identified with the ambition and potential here at Brighton and I am very pleased he has chosen to join us. Peter relishes the prospect of working with our existing strong playing squad and coaching staff to take the club forward."

Taylor managed Dover Athletic from 1996, before going on an upward curve. He was appointed as Gillingham's manager in 1999, and led them to promotion from the Second Division courtesy of a play-off final victory over Wigan at Wembley. In July 2000, he took over as Leicester manager and led the Foxes to the top of the Premiership. When Kevin Keegan quit as England coach, the Football Association turned to Taylor and appointed him as England coach on a short-term part-time basis on 22 October. He took charge for a friendly against Italy in Turin and made David Beckham England captain for the first time.

Taylor is cited as the man who launched the emergence of the young generation in the England squad, with his selections for the international with Italy in Turin last November. His reign could have continued through to the summer, with Sven Goran Eriksson expected to see out his contract with Lazio. But the Swede arrived early after leaving the Italian club, and Taylor and Steve McClaren were seen as the young coaches on the block being groomed to eventually succeed him.

However, the first cracks appeared at Filbert Street with the departure of Neil Lennon to Celtic – a player Taylor never effectively replaced. Leicester clung on to their high placing in the Premiership until early March but things began to go wrong after a home FA Cup defeat to Wycombe Wanderers when reaching the semi-finals had seemed a formality.

Taylor was powerless to stop a club record-breaking run of eight successive league defeats. They ended the season in 13th spot – their worst position since regaining their top-flight status in 1996.

Taylor gave up his England involvement in the summer to concentrate on helping to get the Foxes back on track and he brought in Dennis Wise, Ian Walker and James Scowcroft.

The new campaign began with fresh optimism that the end to 2000-01 was a mere blip. But a 5-0 home defeat to Bolton on day one put Taylor under instant pressure and a 4-0 drubbing at Arsenal prompted speculation that his job was on the line. The end came on 30 September, 24 hours after they lost at Charlton.

Taylor's coaching skills are held in the highest esteem. A brief word with virtually any of the senior and Under-21 England players he has worked with will confirm that. The Brighton striker Bobby Zamora said: "When I heard the list of who was being put forward for the job at Brighton, Peter Taylor was the name that stood out."

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