Club news

Hughton Looking For Positive Ulloa Impact

By James Hilsum • 31 January 2018

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton hopes that the return of Leonardo Ulloa can have a positive impact on the squad, after the Argentine joined on a loan deal until the end of the season.

Hughton explained that the Argentine has a tremendous desire to play football, and hopes that his experience will be beneficial heading into the business end of the season.

He said, “I hope so [give a lift to the squad]. One thing that definitely helps is that you’ve got a player that knows the place, his English is very good and there’s no settling-in period.

“We’re not bringing in a player that’s 25 or 26 years of age, Leo is now 31 and that makes him an experienced player.

"What we are getting in Leo is somebody of a good age and good experience. He’s a player that’s hungry to be involved. If Leo had been playing more regularly then he wouldn’t have been available.

“But he is somebody that wants to play, is hungry to play and that makes him a good signing.”

The Albion manager believes that the squad is now in a much better position offensively, following the arrivals of Locadia and Ulloa, while Sam Baldock is also getting up to speed with more minutes on the pitch.

“You want as many options as possible and it gives us good options with what we’re able to do on the bench, with what we’re able to do in formations, and ultimately about trying and get as many points as we can.

“We’ve got Sam Baldock, who is at a better level now because he’s trained more and been involved in a couple of games, and we’ve got two new players in Leo and Jurgen, who is going to be two or three weeks away from training.

“We’re certainly two players better off and in a much better position offensively than what we were a month ago.”

The Seagulls boss also assessed Southampton’s tough season to date, and was quizzed on whether or not he’s surprised to see the Saints near the bottom of the table.

“I would probably say yes and no. I would say yes, because they are a club that has made really good progress over these years, and I think they’ve got better in every year they’ve been in the Premier League.

“But this league is so competitive and three teams will go down. One, two or three of those teams may be established Premier League teams, because the teams that are coming up now are better prepared to stay up than what they were before.”

“It doesn’t guarantee they’ll stay up, but I think this is such a competitive league now and it’s very difficult to say which teams will have poorer seasons.”