At his pre-match press conference, Chris Hughton delivered updates on Albion’s three long-term injuries, spoke about the impact of Middlebrough winger Mustapha Carayol during his recent loan spell and the importance of having stability in the squad.
Team News: “Solly [March] has been training with us for the last week and if we had a few more games, we would have included him in them. He’s looked very good in training but with one game left, it makes sense really not to risk him.
“He has come back in good shape, fully recovered from the injury and for him, we have to make sure he has a good summer and does all of his rehab. Then we can look forward to seeing him in pre-season.
“We’re expecting both Andrew Crofts and Sam Baldock to start pre-season. It’s been a tougher one for Andrew because he’s been out for a longer period. With Sam it’s frustrating because of when the injury occurred during the season, but it’s a fairly straight-forward injury.
“With Andrew, we may have to structure pre-season a little bit differently because he’s been out for a longer period of time. With Sam, he will be up, ready and looking forward to completing pre-season.”
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Mustapha Carayol: “We knew when we took him that he’d been out for long time and he probably played more games for us in that last period of the season than he has done for a while.
“Overall I’ve been delighted with his contribution. Towards the end, perhaps his level just dropped a bit because of the number of games that he’d been involved in. I don’t know how much he will feature with Middlesbrough come next season or in these upcoming play-off games, but they will reap the benefits of sending him out on loan.
“The value they have gained from him coming here on loan will be that he is fit and ready to play on Saturday and in the play-off games. It is a move that has worked out well for both clubs.
The importance of stability in the squad: “There’s no doubt that if you can get a group of players together early on and get the opportunity to work with them for a long period, then it can only be beneficial.
“It is something which has helped Bournemouth and Brentford to a degree as well. They went through long periods where they didn’t change the team too much and didn’t have many injuries either. That can happen, but generally most teams are going to go through periods of a season where they will be picking up injuries. To have a settled team, is a real advantage.”