Club news

Hughton On: Arsenal

By James Hilsum • 03 March 2018

At his pre-match press conference, Chris Hughton delivered the latest team news, spoke about Albion’s battle to beat the drop, Jose Izquierdo’s Goal of the Month award  nominations - and the form of Glenn Murray, and assessed the threat posed by Arsenal.

Team news:

“Jiri Skalak, who got injured in the FA Cup tie at Middlesbrough, is now back in training. We’re in very good shape at the moment, apart from Steve Sidwell, who is out for a longer period.”

Battle to beat the drop:

"It’s certainly not comfortable because of how the table is. If I was asked if I would be happy with this at the start of the season, I would have to say ‘yes’ because at this moment we’re in there with a lot of teams that would’ve been fancied to be well above us in the table.

“But it’s a tough run-in for all of us and this is a period in the season where we’re going to have to show the qualities and resilience that we have, and more than at least three teams.

“I have been pleased with a lot of what we’ve done, but we still have a lot of work to do.”

Award for Jose Izquierdo:

“Jose has really adapted well. He has come from a different environment and a different way of playing, so the roles are going to be different too.

“If you look at the type of goals he’s scored in the last couple of seasons at Brugge, they were similar-type goals, but to do it here at the top level shows the improvement he has made.”

Glenn Murray’s form

“He’s in good form and that’s all we can ask. Anything we are able to get from Arsenal on Sunday will be down to a team performance because of the quality they’ve got.

“Glenn is working very hard for the team and probably that work ethic he will show for the team is as valuable as any goals that he scores.”

Threat from Arsenal:

“When you are playing a team of the stature of Arsenal that are playing on the back of back-to-back defeats, they will want a reaction.

“We’ve got to make sure we look after our own business and play to the levels that we have been playing.

“Most would say it’s arguably the worst time to play them because they will want a reaction, and we have to make sure we get on with the job at hand and reach the levels we can."