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HUGHTON ON: ROTHERHAM

16 August 2016

The key points from Chris Hughton's pre-match press conference.


At his pre-match press conference, Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton discussed David Stockdale’s fitness, the form of Lewis Dunk and Bruno’s experience at the back, before analysing the threat from Rotherham United.



Stockdale’s fitness: “It’s a lot better than what we first thought [Stockdale’s injury]. It’s very much a soft tissue injury, which in effect is a kick in an area that was very sore at the time. It will be about pain management and how quickly he can get the all clear.

“Our first game is, of course, tonight and we haven’t ruled him out of anything. He’s having a scan done and we’re just waiting on that.

“He certainly wouldn’t be involved in any game if it wasn’t right for him to play. It’s not just about one game, it’s about making sure you’re doing what’s right for the team. Of course, in Niki [Maenpaa], we have somebody who’s had a very good pre-season and is very willing to step into his shoes.

“We’ve got no qualms with Niki, he’s an experienced goalkeeper and that’s what we wanted this summer. He’s been involved a lot in pre-season and I’ve got no worries about that [starting against Rotherham].



Goldson’s fitness and Bruno’s influence: “He [Goldson] won’t be available for the next two games, but he’s close. He’s a fit individual, he’s doing a lot of running and a lot of the rehab work that he’s doing is just about getting him to that level of training with the team.

“The plus with Connor is he done a big chunk of pre-season. He’s a naturally fit lad anyway, so I think once he’s available and done the percentage of the training, he’ll be ready.

“Bruno’s done a great job under the circumstances. He’s got that level of experience and that’s why he’s been able to cope in that position. We’re on the back of a good defensive record at the moment and it’s one that we’d certainly like to continue."

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Rotherham Test: “Amongst their last two results we’ve seen some really good play. They’ve got a new manager, who’s employing a different system and, of course, Jake [Forster-Caskey] has played the last couple of games for them but won’t be available, so we know they’ll be a change in there.

“They’re a very hard-working team and have a lot of energy in the side. When you’re on the back of a bad result, the first thing you want to do is pick up a good result, so that will make them even more fired up.

“Our preparation never changes; we like to think it’s very good going into every game. There isn’t one game that you’re confident enough to say ‘we’re definitely going to win that one’, not one. But certainly when a team is on the back of a bad result, they’ll want to bounce back."



Dunk’s progress: “He’s done proven to us that he’s a very good and very consistent player. At some stage, I’m quite sure he’ll play at the highest level, but he’s still young. If you look at the qualities he’s got, I think he’s still improving with every season.

“He’s vital. He’s one of a group of players that you know you want here, you don’t want to lose your best players. He’s somebody that’s very happy here and signed a contract in the summer.

“He had a difficult period last season where, unfortunately for him, almost every mistake he made was punished. But he showed great character to come through that and I think he’s just got better and better.”


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