At his pre-match press conference Chris Hughton spoke about Kazenga LuaLua’s recent fine form, the test which Walsall will provide on Tuesday, his thoughts on the Capital One Cup and the need to rotate his squad.
Kazenga LuaLua’s form: “He’s going through a good spell at the moment and the nature of players is that when they’re going through these periods, they want to be playing and influencing games as much as possible.
“With Kazenga, there’s never any doubting the ability that he’s got and we want him to assist with goals as well as score them himself.
“In recent games he was able to do that at Fulham away with the penalty and against Blackburn when he scored the winner, so long may that continue.”
The test from Walsall: “It’s going to be a very tough game. In the last round of fixtures I think at least eight Championship teams went out of the competition.
“It’s an indication of how tough every one of these games is and we needed a last-minute winner at Southend to come to this stage.
“They’ve got a manager who’s done a great job there over the years and they’re playing a very exciting brand of football.
“It’s a tight arena, a good pitch. They’ll want to play and want to do well, so I would expect a difficult game.”
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Thoughts on the Capital One Cup: “A lot of managers that see their teams go out of the competition will look back and say it allows them to concentrate on the league. But those same managers would say before the game that they desperately want to go through, because it can give you momentum.
“I have been involved at clubs before where the competition has not been a hindrance as it allows you to use the squad and for players to gain confidence that are perhaps not confident at the time.
“There’s no difference from last week playing in a midweek game at Huddersfield and we need to approach it in the same way with the same mentality.”
Rotating the squad: “I will very much use the squad again. We’re fortunate that at this moment we don’t have too many injuries. We’ve got really good competition for places and in the last round at Southend you could certainly see the will to win in the final part of the game from the players.
“Everybody at this moment is motivated to play. I would expect to put out a team to go out there and try to win the game and most importantly, to go through to the next round.”
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