The key talking points from Chris Hughton's pre-match press conference.
At his pre-match press conference, Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton spoke about the opportunities available to the club’s under-23 players, what Oliver Norwood brings to the squad and the threat posed by Colchester United tonight.
Chance for under-23s: “We have players that are desperate to get opportunities to improve and test themselves. We always have numbers, including players that are pushing from the under-23s. It’s just important that we get the right balance. For those that do play, it will be a very good challenge for them.
“Ben White and Sam Adekugbe will be in the squad; it will be a good opportunity to see them and other youngsters will also come into the reckoning. Sam came over before he joined and at that stage we decided not to act, but the opportunity came around again this summer and we thought the timing was good to sign him.
“He had impressed in his first period with us, and in that position, natural left-footed left-backs are always a commodity. He’s done very well since he’s been here.”
Norwood strengths and midfield options: “He’s settled in very well. He knew a few of the lads anyway and he’s the sort of character that I wouldn’t expect to take very long to settle in. He certainly knows the division, having only missed a couple of games last season.
“Ollie has a great awareness of the game, he’s very good on the ball and he uses it very well. Is he different to what we already have? Yes, I think he is and I can see him playing with any of the other three in there.
“If you’re looking at what we had last season then, of course, it was Beram [Kayal] and Dale [Stephens] playing the large majority of the season, but I’d like to think there are many different combinations available now."
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Threat from Colchester: “It’s a really good challenge for us and it will be a tough game. We experienced that last season in the two games that we played [Southend and Walsall] and we wouldn’t expect anything different this time.
“It’s a really good opportunity for those who didn’t play at the weekend. It’s a shame that we play Friday night instead of Saturday, as that would have given us a little more recovery time."
Injuries and early rounds of EFL Cup: “We know where we are at the start of the season and when the games are going to be played.
“Perhaps what has made it more difficult for us is the injuries we have in defence, with two centre-backs out injured, and if you’re looking at experience and players that have played before, that leaves us with only four fit defenders that all played on Saturday.
“With the FA Cup starting for some teams before Christmas, the early rounds of this competition have to be over and done with as they are, which is very early.”
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