The key talking points from the Albion manager’s press conference.
At his pre-match press conference, Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton showed understanding towards Anthony Knockaert’s recent form, spoke about December’s busy fixture list, analysed Friday night’s opponents Leeds United, and highlighted the importance of winning at the Amex.
Knockaert’s form: “I left him out of the last game because the levels of his performance from the previous two games weren’t to the levels that he sets himself, and he’s very understanding about that.
“He’s gone through a difficult period, but that can happen even without going through what he’s been through. It’s very difficult for a creative, flare player to sustain those levels game after game.
“One thing Anthony [Knockaert] can generally give us, even in a performance which isn’t his best performance, is the capability of producing moments that can win games.
“Sometimes it’s the right thing to pull him out for a short period, whether that’s just a single game to refresh him, but he understands that."
Dealing with a busy schedule: “We embark on another tough game on Friday, then two really tough away games on Tuesday and Saturday, it’s relentless.
“Getting the best out of them and picking a team to win football games is always the toughest part [of my job] because of the level of competition in this division.
“But the players are well drilled in what they do, last season was a great experience for us and we were able to add to that during the summer.
“So there’s no doubt that we’re in a better position in regards to competition in the squad, than we were last season, but it’s still about getting the results game after game.”
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Leeds United test: “I think they’ve been excellent [Leeds United]. We’ve all followed the Leeds of the last few seasons and the changes, but one thing that’s never changed is that Leeds is a very difficult place to visit.
“They’ve got a fanatical crowd, a big stadium and they travel with a big crowd, so there’s always been this feel about Leeds, and everyone has been waiting for them to reach the levels they’ve had in the past.
“This is one of their best periods and I think they’ve got a lot of stability in the team at the moment. They’ve got an excellent manager who’s managed at the top level.
“He [Garry Monk] created a team at Swansea, even though others contributed before him, but he’s very much putting his stamp on the team [at Leeds] now.”
“In any division, your home form is always going to be vital. It’s always tougher away from home and that’s just how the game is.
“It’s vital that you create an atmosphere at home which gives you an edge, which includes the mentality of the players and also the big part the supporters play.
“If I felt they were good last season, then they’ve certainly upped their levels this season, they’ve been excellent, and that helps.
“For any team that wants to do well in any division, you have to maintain a good home record.”
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