Guy Moussi has revenge in mind as Nottingham Forest return to Brighton
A YEAR may have passed since Nottingham Forest last visited Brighton, but the sense of injustice has barely faded.
After dominating for 90 minutes at the Seagulls' impressive new home last December, the Reds were condemned to a 1-0 defeat by an injury-time goal from Will Buckley.
Much has changed since then, with Lee Camp the only player who started that day to be sure of a starting spot this time around.
In fact, Camp, Radi Majewski and Guy Moussi are the only players still at the club who were in the starting line-up 12 months ago on the south coast.
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But Frenchman Moussi has a long memory and, as Sean O'Driscoll's new look side prepare to take on one of their promotion rivals, the midfielder has revenge in mind.
For once, his laid back Gallic nature slips, as he admits Forest have extra motivation.
"Last season we had a really good game there, but we ended up losing 1-0 when they scored late on," said Moussi. "It was incredibly frustrating and it does leave us with a point to prove.
"But we have been working on how they play this week; we have been preparing, so that we are ready to go there again.
"I would love to batter them again, but this time to come away with the right result.
"At the very least, we want to come back with a point. But we will be aiming for a win."
Forest are a side packed with attacking threat, following a busy summer in the transfer market.
But Moussi believes it is the defensive side of the game, led by the new-look back four, which will be crucial in Falmer.
"If we can keep a clean sheet, we do feel that, at any time, we are capable of scoring a goal," he said.
"First of all, we have to stay focused and keep that clean sheet, because they are a side that likes to get forward and make forward runs.
"We have to stay focused on that and match their runs.
"We do have players who can score, who can make the breakthrough for us. But the first step for us is to make sure we keep things tight at the back.
"It is barely a year since we last went there, but there is only myself, Radi and Campy left here who started that game.
"We have some good players here now though, we have made good additions and I do feel as though we can do something good there, this time."
It has unquestionably been a transitional period for Forest, as 14 new additions find their feet in new surroundings.
And Moussi hopes that, now the new players have had the time to settle in, the squad's genuine strength will start to shine through in the coming months.
"It is a different squad. We have some good players," he said. "Mentally we are stronger this season, because I don't think we expected things to be that bad last time.
"Now we are starting again, starting from scratch when it comes to building a team.
"Nobody expected us to be top right now. But that is only because we knew it would take time to make these changes.
"Nobody thought it was going to be easy but, as players, we always knew that we needed to be patient.
"We have been, now we have to carry on, to keep working hard, and see where things take us as it comes together for us.
"If we carry on, if we continue to improve, we do have a chance of being where we want to be.
"In January, we will see where we are.
"If we can get ourselves into the play-off positions, then great. Perhaps we can still even aim for more. We will see.
"Let's get through December and January and see where we are after that. We are still coming together as a side.
"The team can continue to improve. We can improve a great deal when it comes to our position and our shape.
"At the moment, we are better than we were a few months ago and we have still been winning games.
"If we can keep improving, we are only going to get stronger."
For Moussi, this season has been a new experience, as he finds himself fighting for his place in the side.
Largely previously regarded as one of the first names on the team-sheet under Billy Davies, Moussi is now part of a fierce fight for places amid a Forest squad that is packed with midfield talent.
The 27-year-old makes no attempt to disguise his displeasure at the situation.
But nor is he the type to make a fuss and, while he may not be happy about being left on the bench, he pledges that Forest can rely on him to give 100 per cent whenever he is given an opportunity.
"I will never accept being a substitute, because I am a competitive player, I want to be playing," said Moussi.
"But, even if I do only play for five minutes in a game, people know what they will get from me.
"Whether it is for five minutes, or 20 minutes or 90, I will always give my best.
"Everyone knows that I am professional and I will always give everything. It has been frustrating, I have not started many games, I think it has been one in the cup and one in the league.
"I am not used to that. It is the first time this has happened in my career.
"But I am not the sort of player to mess about if I am not playing; I will keep working hard.
"If the manager thinks I should play, I will work hard for him.
"There is competition, but I am not bothered about that. If I deserve to play, I will play. That is the gaffer's decision.
"If you work as hard as you can every day and you can say that you have done that when you get home at night, there is nothing more you can do.
"That is what I will continue to do."
Whether Moussi is given his chance in the starting line-up today or not, if the rest of the squad share his appetite for revenge, then Brighton will be in for a difficult afternoon.