The Albion manager was delighted to see three under-23 players impress.
Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton praised the three under-23 players who made their first-team debuts in tonight’s 4-0 win over Colchester and says they all seized their opportunity to impress.
Defenders Rob Hunt, Ben White and Sam Adekugbe all played the full 90 minutes and Hughton said, “The front six were all first-team, experienced players, so they were always going to play. The question was what we were going to do at the back? I chose to go with Rohan Ince, even though it’s not his best position, but he was the most experienced one out of the back four.
“I also chose to go with three lads who have been doing really well in the under-23s, with Ben White, Rob Hunt and Sam Adekugbe, who joined us in the summer. I think the contribution from all of them was excellent.
“He’s a young one [Ben White], he started pre-season last season with us, but picked up an injury in the friendly against Crawley, which kept him out for a little while. He’s a talent and he’s very much been in the mix of the first team this pre-season.
“They waited for their opportunity and that’s why you want an under-23 group that are pushing hard, lads just like Ben White.
“You can’t tell if they’re ready until they get that opportunity. They can show everything on the training pitch, and you can get a nice feel for the player, but there are always going to be exceptions.
“You can get a young player who stands out that much, and you know they’re ready for the first team. But for the majority of them, it’s all about waiting to get that opportunity.”
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The Seagulls boss was also pleased see his side score four on the night and delighted that Sam Baldock got off the mark for the season.
“I thought we had really good control of the game, but we had to get that first goal, and I knew if we did get that goal, the game would open up more.
“Did I anticipate we’d get another three on top of that? Probably not. But certainly on the balance of play, we deserved to get those goals and had more opportunities.
“The first goal was typical Sam [Baldock]; he brings an energy to the team and he gave us a lot of that last season.
“He can score goals. He did really well for us last season, but yes, I think he would’ve liked to have contributed with more goals.
“But sometimes when you’re playing a different role for the team, that takes away some of those possibilities. I think with the way Sam played for us last season, it does take away some of the areas that he might get into playing in a different system.”
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