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26 June 2014

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Brighton & Hove Albion manager Sami Hyypia says he is focussing on performances rather than results going into pre-season.

The Seagulls start off their summer fixture list against Lewes at the Dripping Pan on 5th July, before two matches in Spain and subsequent tests away at Crawley Town and Peterborough United.

Albion will then conclude their preparations for the new campaign with a match against Premier League Southampton at the Amex on 31st July.

He told, “My idea of pre-season games is that they are only preparation for the new season.

“I would like the team to have more purposeful possession on the ball, so maybe that will be our biggest challenge.

“We also need to be a bit more active when we lose the ball, so those are maybe the two things we have to work on in this six-week period.

“If we concentrate and do those things properly in matches, then the result is secondary for me. It’s all about preparing the team and the individual players for the season, as we don’t get any points from the friendly games.

“Of course, we’ll take them seriously and I want to win, but when I see those things happening in the friendly games that we practise every day on the training pitch, then I’m a happy man even if we lose 1-0.

“The opposition will be tougher in each game and if we put into practise the things we do on the training pitch then we’ll win many games.

“When you win games it gives you confidence, but we need to learn that we only focus on a game at a time. That’s the way we go forward.”

The Finn also insists he is willing to give younger players a chance to impress in the first-team squad and that age will not be a barrier for progress during his time in charge.

“The academy is now here at the training ground and it’s great for me to be so close to it. When a player is good enough then it doesn’t matter how old they are.

“I don’t have any problems letting the younger players into the team if they are good enough to fill the positions.

“Hopefully there will be many more players coming through from the academy in the years to come.

“It’s a great challenge ahead for me and I will do everything I can to find that missing piece of the puzzle for us to be in the Premier League.”

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