Brighton & Hove Albion boss Sami Hyypia was thrilled that a number of his players had the honour of representing their respective countries during the international break - but admitted he is more relieved not to have picked up any more injuries over the domestic break.
Aaron Hughes, Gordon Greer, Jake Forster-Caskey and Paddy McCourt played minutes on the international scene and Hyypia says it is an endorsement of the quality in the squad.
He told seagulls.co.uk, “It’s always an honour to play for your country and I’m very pleased that we have that kind of quality in the squad. I played for Finland, so I know what it is like to go to the national team and represent your county.
“It is worrying when they are not here and there is a risk they might get injured, so I’m very pleased for the lads, but also that they have come back fit as well.”
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The Albion manager has also been pleased with his players’ overall attitude since returning to training and says the whole squad is raring to go for tomorrow’s visit of Middlesbrough.
“During the break we had a few days where we worked a bit harder and then had a weekend off to recover, so we’re mentally ready for this hefty period.
“On Tuesday we came back and sometimes that first day back to training, when you’ve had three days off, can be very difficult, but I thought that the team did very well.
“Wednesday was a harder day as well, while Thursday was a bit lighter before we started to prepare for the game tactically.
“You work on things on the training pitch to try and give confidence to the players. The repetition and the work on the pitch is very important.
“We have also spoken about being more clinical when we have a chance to put the ball in the net. It’s our responsibility to work on things which aren’t working and hopefully we will get the ball in the net a few times on Saturday.”