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Hughton Praises Albion's Ever-presents

By Kieran Cleeves • 20 January 2018

Two outfield members of Brighton & Hove Albion’s squad have played every minute of Premier League football so far this season, and manager Chris Hughton praised both Lewis Dunk and Dale Stephens for their contributions.

The pair have made up part of Albion’s spine throughout the club’s first-ever campaign in the Premier League, and Hughton has been impressed with the quality and consistency shown by both individuals.

He said, “They’ve both been excellent for us and they’ve slotted into Premier League levels very well and they look comfortable in the roles they play.
 
“Lewis would have been disappointed with any goal we concede and he’s no different to anyone in the team.

“What he has given this season is far more quality and better performances than mistakes.
 
“Dale has delighted me because he had an injury which kept him out for a period of time – since that he’s generally been injury free.

“He’s picked up a few knocks but by performing every week up until now he’s been fit and injury free. He’s a key player for us.”

The Seagulls welcome Chelsea to Stamford Bridge this afternoon, and Hughton assessed the difficulty of the task in front of his players, as they come up against the reigning Premier League champions.

“You have to have a good team structure to stop them and also need a good individuals in your team.

“You have to be aware of their players – some have a brilliant turn of pace off the mark – and there aren’t many around that have that like some of their players do.
 
“We still have to play some of them [top six] at home and we might need a result against one of those come the end of the season, but you can never tell.”

Ross Barkley could make his debut for the Blues after signing from Everton during the January transfer window, and Hughton believes the move could represent a fresh start for the midfielder.

 “He’s a good player who’s had a difficult time through injury – he’s at a new club now and once he’s available this will be a new chapter in his career where he’ll want to do well.
 
"It’s the nature of the game when players can sometimes stall slightly – players play a lot of matches and it’s normal – it’s difficult to keep high levels consistently."

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