The key talking points from the manager's press conference.
At his pre-match press conference, Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton discussed the tough task of staying at the top end of the Sky Bet Championship, looked ahead to Cardiff City’s visit to the Amex, spoke about managerial pressure, and insisted his team must focus on maintaining their impressive form.
Competition at the top: “There’s a bigger difference below us and it’s about trying to keep that gap between ourselves and the those teams.
“There isn’t one game that we’ll play, or Newcastle will play, that will be an easy or comfortable. That’s what the Championship is all about.
“Most people expect Newcastle to be very strong this season, and rightfully so with the squad they’ve got.
“But there are so many good sides, especially when you look at the runs Villa and Derby are having, and they’ll certainly be many twists and turns in the second half of the season."
Cardiff test: “We had a very tough encounter against them a few weeks ago, and probably from the sides that we’ve played, we’ll know each other quite well because it was very recent.
“It was a tough game and I don’t think you can play one of Neil’s [Warnock] teams and not expect a tough one.
“In regards to what changes he’ll make, we don’t know, but he’s certainly capable of changing the shape, which he did against us in the away game. It was a really tough, good performance from them.
“Going back to their last game against Brentford, he changed the shape and went into a back three, so he’s capable of doing that and what we’ll be up against tomorrow [Friday], I don’t know."
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Pressures of management: “It’s a very difficult and sad part of our game now, that managers aren’t getting the time to implement what they want in a team, but it’s a consequence of pressures in the game now.
“There’s pressure in both divisions, but the desire to make that step up into the Premier League, where everyone wants to be, has become even greater now.
“You’re finding that owners are not prepared to wait as long or be as patient as what they used to be, but it’s all about getting to the Premier League where the big money is."
Remaining focused: “It’s not about any records, it’s about achieving the best that we can and going into every single game trying to get a result.
“As a manager, you can never be critical when you see the players giving all they can to get a result.
“Fortunately for us, in a high percentage of our games, we’ve managed to do that [win]. So it would be great for us to finish of the year on a high, but there’s a lot of games to play.
“It’s about trying to keep those levels and to ensure the results are as good in the second half of the season they were in the first half."
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