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HUGHTON'S PRAISE FOR HUGHES

21 January 2015


Brighton & Hove Albion defender Aaron Hughes could be set for his first start since early December when high-flying Ipswich Town visit the Amex tonight.

Lewis Dunk is suspended after seeing red against Brentford at the weekend, while Greg Halford is battling to overcome a calf problem he picked up against the Bees.

However, Albion boss Chris Hughton has no qualms about Northern Ireland international Hughes stepping into the breach.

He said, “We’re conscious what Dunky has given us on the set plays at the moment, so a fit Lewis generally plays because he has got to a standard of performance that’s improving all the time.

“It’s no surprise to say he’s a big loss because he is someone who has been playing consistently, but these things happen and you have to adapt.

“Fortunately for us we’ve got someone like an Aaron Hughes who can fill those shoes and he is somebody who has vast experience doing that.

“I haven’t been here long, but he would be the one that I know best. He’s the one that I’ve seen most of and there probably isn’t anything I could say about him in the short period of time that I’ve been here that every manager he’s worked under wouldn’t say, because it’s glaringly obvious that he’s a fantastic professional.

“He gets on with the job, is very experienced and of course he comes right back into the frame.”

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The Albion manager is also looking forward to locking horns with Mick McCarthy and believes the Suffolk side are in good hands under his former Republic of Ireland international teammate.

“I’ve had a few battles against him, but not too many. Most of the battles I’ve had are alongside him while playing for the Republic.

“He’s a good friend and is somebody I’ve spoken to a lot. It’s never a surprise to me when I see Mick doing well because he’s an outstanding manager and I’m delighted to see him doing well.”

With much of the focus on Sunday’s FA Cup tie against Arsenal, Hughton was also keen to stress the importance of Wednesday night’s match and that the main priority must be on moving up the table.

“I haven’t even thought about that [Arsenal match] at the moment. There can’t afford to be any distractions and I say this in the right way; Wednesday’s game is a bigger game than Sunday because it’s our bread and butter and it is our next game as well.”

UPCOMING HOME FIXTURES

ALBION V IPSWICH

WEDNESDAY 21ST JANUARY, KICK-OFF 7.45PM


ALBION V ARSENAL

SUNDAY 25TH JANUARY, KICK-OFF 4PM



ALBION V NOTTINGHAM FOREST

SATURDAY 7TH FEBRUARY, KICK-OFF 3PM




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