New Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton has relished his first few days back in management with the Seagulls – and says that his immediate focus, alongside tomorrow’s FA Cup tie at Brentford, is on strengthening his squad.
Hughton, who has already brought back defender Greg Halford from Nottingham Forest, told seagulls.co.uk, “We need to get players into the squad, there’s no doubt about that. When you lose the volume of players we have lost this week then of course you need to replace them.
“The quicker we can get players in, the better, but one thing I have learned over many windows now is it’s never that easy. Sometimes there are deals you can do fairly quickly, ones which have been set up, but I think most teams now have got used to playing the game a bit in terms of the transfer window.
“Also, if players have options, sometimes they want to wait and see what other options they might have. Ideally it would be good to get players in early but it’s not always possible, but we have certainly spent a bit of time over the past days, we’re assessing a lot of things, but yes we certainly need to develop this squad.
“I have enjoyed it. It’s always about getting your feet under the table and of course in a first period there is always so much to do and a lot of that is getting to know people and of course getting to know the players, it’s more difficult to get to know the young players over a very short period of time, but that’s my responsibility and the quicker I do that the better.”
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Meanwhile, Hughton says he is pleased to be starting with an FA Cup tie, as opposed to a Championship fixture – and is looking forward to returning to Griffin Park, where he ended his playing career. “I’m pleased it’s the FA Cup because it takes us away from that feel of going into a league game, but that does not mean this game is less important to us than a league game.
“We’re on the back of a draw against Reading and a good result against Fulham. One thing that you want to do in this game is keep some momentum going, and momentum can be in the form of results or how you perform on the football pitch.
“I had a fabulous time [at Brentford]. It was right at the end of my career, I retired after my spell there, but it was a good period for me because we managed to get promotion from the old third division to the second division.
“It was right at the end of my career and that stage I knew I wanted to stay in the game. The manager at the time got me involved in a couple of the coaching sessions as well.
“It’s a club I know quite well, I’ve been to see them quite a few times and have done very well in the last couple of seasons and you’ve got to give them credit for that.
“They play an expansive passing game and sometimes it’s not easy to take that into a higher league after promotion, to perform and get the results like they have this season. They have, but have done it in a very structured way. I think they are a club that have ambitions and plans for the future, but it’s been a very good season for them so far.”