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HUGHTON: LET'S BUILD ON OUR PROGRESS

1 January 2016


Brighton & Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton wants his squad to build on their first-half performance this season and make 2016 a year to remember for all connected with the club.

Speaking ahead of today's New Year's Day game against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Hughton says the club will be doing everything possible to push for promotion, and has challenged his players to take what he sees as a great opportunity in front of them.

He said, "We've had a very good first half of the season. We must build on it with a second half of the season that is as good, if not better; that will put us in a position where we will be challenging.

"This division will only get tougher and tougher. When's the best opportunity to get promoted? The best opportunity is the first opportunity, and that first opportunity is now.

"The ambition is the Premier League. One small problem is the number of quality teams that are in your way and even as regards to next season, you look at the Premier League as it stands at the moment and if the three promoted teams continue their form and all stay up, then you're looking at three big teams possibly coming down.

"It gets harder every year, but ultimately the aim is to get to the Premier League. As a club, we'd like to do it as quickly as possible. How quick that can be depends on that problem of having a number of good teams in our way, but that's the ambition of the club."
 
With backing from chairman Tony Bloom, who's already stated his desire to "strengthen from a position of strength", Hughton is keen to add to his squad during January, but says the club will continue to conduct any transfer business in the right way for the club.

"We've [always] done things in a very appropriate way. We won't bring in players that are not right financially for this football club. I’m very aware of what we are as a club, the finances of the club, the way that the club go about transfer business and so on.

"The chairman is very aware of that, and has already spoken about making funds available in January. So from that point of view, the club will do as much as they can. The difficulty is always getting the players you want."

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Meanwhile, Hughton has also welcomed the extra pressure, given his side's performance in the first half of the season. Unfancied at the start of the season, Hughton has transformed Albion from relegation scrappers at the end of last season, to genuine promotion candidates in the first half of this term and welcomes the raised expectations.

"The expectations have risen, there is no doubt about it, but I would rather have the pressures and challenges of that, than to be a team that's found it very difficult this season.

"We have overachieved in this first half of the season, but I would certainly rather be where we are in this division with a chance of staying in that top six than to be fighting again this season - our aim now is to try and live up to that."

UPCOMING HOME FIXTURES

ALBION V WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS

FRIDAY 1ST JANUARY, KICK-OFF 3PM


ALBION V HUDDERSFIELD TOWN

SATURDAY 23RD JANUARY, KICK-OFF 3PM



ALBION V BRENTFORD

FRIDAY 5TH FEBRUARY, KICK-OFF 7.45PM


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