At his pre-match press conference, Chris Hughton discussed the latest team news, out-of contract players, Albion’s focus throughout the international break and his thoughts on the Blackburn trip.
Beram Kayal: “He’ll be okay. He got a kick and it was touch and go but I certainly felt it was something that would have affected him in the second half so I felt it was best for the team that we made the change. He was a touch sore afterwards but he’s okay.”
Leon Best unavailable (he’s on loan from Blackburn): “It’s something we knew and it’s the norm. It’s disappointing for us and for him but as I say it’s something that we knew and have to prepare for.
“But he played the last game and he’s someone that hasn’t been involved as much in the last few games so it was good for him to get that start the other night.”
Jake Forster-Caskey: It’s tough for Jake in some ways because he’s someone that’s been used to playing a lot of games but he’s part of a competitive squad at the moment - these are always the difficult decisions that you have to deal with.
“One thing that we tell anybody in the squad is that what can be a difficult time at one stage can change.
“Danny Holla that had been left out of the 18 for a few consecutive games then found himself back in the team – that’s why they have to continue to train hard.”
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Out of contract players: “It’s always difficult to want something different from any players that you wouldn’t want from anybody else.
“You wouldn’t want your player – whether he’s out of contract or whether he’s just signed a contract mid-way through - you want them to show a level of performance, a level of desire and a level of competition to do well in training every day and to do well in the game.
“I am conscious of those whose contracts are up at the end of the season and it’s something that we will internally work on. I wouldn’t want any different at any stage from them or any other player.”
Players’ focus throughout the international break: “Firstly it’s the game at Blackburn on Saturday and doing the best that we can do to get a result in that one because that’s what the objective will be.
“I will be the same as every manager – you have to make the most of any break that you have and the players will have a few days off.
“The break will be valuable for different reasons – for the ones that have played consistently, it’s a real good opportunity to recharge the batteries. There are some that go away on international duty but it’s also for the ones that haven’t played as regularly.
“It gives us a good block off training which almost in my time here we haven’t been able to have because you’re into games thick and fast and you’re playing two games a week. It’s difficult to get the amount of hours on the training pitch that you would like so it will give us a really good opportunity to get some good training and a good opportunity for those that need it.”