At his pre-match press conference, Chris Hughton spoke about the decisions to give Casper Ankergren and Inigo Calderon new contracts; the threat which league leaders Watford will pose; and Millwall’s defeat to Blackburn on Tuesday.
New Contracts: “You have to make decisions for the future and anticipate where you can strengthen. It is pretty much part and parcel of the game. For those that receive new contracts, it’s because we feel that it’s in the best interests of the club and because they’ve deserved it. For the ones that don’t, it gives them an opportunity to be somewhere where they can play regular football.
“In Casper’s [Ankergren] situation, he in effect has been our third-choice goalkeeper here and that can be quite a specific role.That role tends to be making sure you’re a good back up goalkeeper and also you’re a very good training keeper.
“There will be lots of sessions on the training pitch that your first choice goalkeepers will step out, so it’s an important role in regards to a few responsibilities around that. He has done that very well and he’s also a very good personality to have in the squad. He’s also a goalkeeper that is looking to do his coaching badges and has embarked on that already.
“What comes with Calde [Inigo Calderon] is a package. He is very much a team player and is very popular at the club. That’s certainly not a good enough reason to want to retain his services. The reason why we are retaining his services, is because of the amount of football that he’s played – he has a versatility in his game which shows how valuable he is to this squad.”
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Thoughts on Watford: “At the moment, Watford are in pole position and they won’t want to relinquish that. It’s an added incentive for us because it’s a big game, we’ve fared reasonably well in the big games and it’s an exciting one to finish off the home season.
“They will approach the game as they normally do. They are the type of team who can score at any time during the game. They have an attacking philosophy and they have players that can score goals.
“For a lot of the time this season, they’ve been trying to get their goalscorers in the team. They have [Troy] Deeney, [Fernando] Forestieri and [Matej] Vydra who are all very offensive players and are goalscorers. They try to organise systems where they can get those three in the team. Their philosophy will be the same as it is in any other game and they will be confident that they can score goals.”
“I am very conscious of the responsibility that we have in our last two games. We have a responsibility to all of the teams around there to do the best we can in both of these games.”
Milwall’s defeat to Blackburn: “It was a result that we wanted on Tuesday. What we’ve always wanted is for everything to be in our own hands but due to recent results, we’ve had to hope that other results went our way.
“We’re very conscious at this moment because although it’s not mathematically confirmed yet, you still have to be respectful until it’s mathematically impossible for anyone to catch us. It’s looking far more comfortable and a better position than what it was before Tuesday."