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HUGHTON'S PRAISE FOR AMEX CROWD

16 August 2016

Albion's manager was full of praise for the club's fans.


Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton praised the vociferous backing from the Amex crowd tonight after a 3-0 victory over Rotherham United.
 

Hughton was quick to comment on an electric atmosphere inside the Amex, as another impressive team performance saw Albion claim a second consecutive 3-0 win.
 
He said, “I thought the crowd were excellent tonight. They were very vocal and I think that’s the consequence of them enjoying what they saw.
 
“We weren’t as clinical in front of goal as we could have been, but we had a lot of possession and the two goals in the first half gave us scope to try and get more.

“The fluency and passing in our game was very good. They played a system that we thought would be tough to break down with sometimes five at the back, but I thought we had good movement behind that. We threatened most of the game.

“I think we’re at a stage now, with what we have in the squad, that we’re able to make some changes to freshen up. At the start of the season, we went into seven games in a three-and-a-half-week period and it does give me an opportunity to change things.

“At that stage [3-0], you want to score more goals if you can, but you’re up against a team that are resilient and work as hard as they can. They came out very spirited in that second half, but I was desperate that we didn’t concede.”

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Albion’s manager was delighted with the performances of Niki Maenpaa, who made his league debut in place of the injured David Stockdale, and Oliver Norwood in central midfield.

“We had a few sloppy moments in the latter part of the game, they had a few efforts at goal and we needed Niki [Maenpaa] to make a good save for us.

“He’s had a good involvement in pre-season. David [Stockdale] had a bit of an injury in the first part of pre-season, which meant Niki was involved in a lot of the games. So in a way, he’s had a lot more of an involvement this season than he did last season.

“He’s waited for his opportunity and I have to say, I think he was excellent for us this evening.

“We had a lot of possession and Ollie’s [Norwood] certainly one of those that enjoys being on the ball. He’s got a good range of passing, so I think that helped him.

“He is a lad that’s settled in very quickly and is an experienced Championship campaigner. He’s a player that played in the Euros this summer too, so we expected him to fit in very quickly and he is a good player.”

Tonight’s result lifted the Seagulls to the Sky Bet Championship summit, but the Seagulls boss is taking little notice of league standings at such an early stage of the season.

“I think being top of the league is immaterial, but what I am pleased with is the way we’ve gone about our business in these four games.

“I was equally as pleased in the cup game that we had here, where we managed to change the team. We had a very young side out but they’ve been excellent throughout pre-season.

“We’ve started well, so I suppose a lot of people were looking at us to see how we would start after the end of last season and I’m delighted we’ve started well.”


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