The key talking points from the Albion manager's press conference.
At his pre-match press conference, Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton gave his reaction to Gary Rowett’s departure, spoke about dealing with various elements to win football matches, welcomed Gianfranco Zola back to English football, and gave his thoughts on Albion’s FA Youth Cup win.
Rowett's departure: “My reaction was the same as most people, I was quite shocked and very surprised by it. I know Gary [Rowett] and I think he did a wonderful job in the period of time he was there.
“He made real progress with the squad that he had to work with, but I suppose in this day and age there aren’t so many surprises, however that was certainly one of them.
“That’s how the game has gone, which is certainly unfortunate, because as a manager, you want the stability of being somewhere and having the opportunity to improve and put your stamp on the team.
“Some [managers] are able to do that in a short period of time, but some need time. As a manager and an advocate of what the LMA are trying to do, it’s always sad to see a very good manager lose his job.”
Winning with versatility: “Ultimately it’s about finding the best way to get a win. One thing about this division is you’ve got to try and have a little bit of everything, which certainly means having the ability to go away from home and cope with the elements.
“You have to be ready for the type of team you’re going to be up against, whether it’s a directness in their play or the quality of their physicality, it’s about having enough in our team to match those things.
“They’ve got good, all-round Championship players that know what it takes to get results. I see this game as no easier than any other game away from home.”
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Zola's arrival: “It’s wonderful to see [Gianfranco] Zola back in the English game. He’s somebody that not only graced us as a player, but has also had managerial experience here.
“I don’t think there’ll be anybody that begrudges somebody of Zola’s stamp coming back into the English game, they’ll just feel very much for Gary [Rowett] losing his position, as he did a very good job.
“The Birmingham players, in a very short period of time, will get used to a new manager, but whether he’ll change anything in these few days before the game, we don’t know.
“They’re on the back of a very good win against Ipswich, but we can only prepare ourselves in the same way we prepare for any other game.”
FA Youth Cup victory: “It was important to make progress, and they now have a home tie against Cambridge, so it’ll be another opportunity for our supporters and the players’ families to see them playing at the Amex.
“I thought they won the game in good style, they were very good in the second half and probably could have made it a bigger advantage in regards to the scoreline.
“But it was really good to see them, as I don’t get too many opportunities to see the under-16s and under-18s. It was really lovely for them to play at the Amex.”