Albion's manager is aiming to improve the team even further upfront
Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton says there has been a swing in focus during his time at the club, as his team strengthen their attacking capabilities after building a solid platform in defence.
Albion boast the best defensive record in the Sky Bet Championship this season, but Hughton insists the focus has been towards improving offensively.
He said, “We do more work offensively than defensively now. But certainly when I came in, it was very much about making us a solid team, being hard to beat and using the quality we have to express ourselves.
“In England, there are more teams playing expansive football, and there’s more of an emphasis on central defenders who are good footballers, more so than natural defenders.
“There are two ways to defend, and that’s to have a defensive strategy with, what we would regard as, out-and-out defensive players.
“Or you’re a team that keep the ball more, because if you keep the ball, it gives the opposition less opportunity to score.”
Glenn Murray scored his 14th league goal of the season against Birmingham last week, and although Hughton is delighted with the striker’s goal tally, he praised the work ethic of the entire team.
“He’s been massive. When you’ve got somebody that’s got that volume of goals at this stage of the season, it means everything to the team.
“But Glenn [Murray] would be the first one to admit that it’s very much been a team effort. We’ve worked hard to ensure we’re resilient and a tough team to play against.
“He’s got a group of players around him that can assist with the goals that he scores, but he’s made a big contribution.
“For any player in this team, it isn’t just about the goals they produce, it’s about the work rate in the team, and with everybody else, Glenn is one that works very hard for the team.”
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The Seagulls take on Queens Park Rangers in the first of two games at the Amex before the New Year, and Hughton is pleased for the club’s supporters who recently travelled to Blackburn and Birmingham.
“We’ve had two very tough away games, but also two big distances for our supporters, in particular Blackburn, so it’s nice to have two home games.
“Over this period, we’ve got an away game at Fulham which isn’t too far for the supporters and it will be another big away support there.
“So I’m really pleased for the supporters at this time of the year.”