Albion's manager has taken plenty from tonight's result.
Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton admitted that plenty of lessons will be learned from tonight’s defeat to Fulham.
Goals from Cauley Woodrow, Ryan Sessegnon and Richard Stearman earned the Cottagers a comfortable victory, but Hughton was keen to take the positives from a disappointing result.
He said, “If you’re not at your best or anywhere near your best, then you will get beaten.
"I thought we were very good at Crawley and went about our business the right way against that level. Our preparation was very good, and it was for this game as well, but I thought Fulham were the better team over the 90 minutes.
“We played some of the younger lads, but I don’t want to look at any excuses; they were better than us, more clinical and we never made the most of our opportunities in the final third and never made the keeper work enough.
“It’s a good time to play this game, the best opposition we have played against in pre-season so far, and we’ll certainly go through it, learn the lessons - and we have to be better in the next games.
“We will learn more from losing a game like this today compared to a good victory.”
The Seagulls boss praised the attitude of goalkeeper Niki Maenpaa, the Finland international having played in his second consecutive friendly.
“It was a difficult one for him today and I didn’t think he could do too much with the goals he conceded, but he’s been good for us pre-season, as he was all last season.
“These games are an opportunity for him and he’s no different to any player who’s not playing - they want to push to try and play.”
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The manager revealed that Dale Stephens is expected to return to the squad for the double header against Luton and Stevenage, after a slight knock to his knee, along with Jiri Skalak, following his involvement with the Czech Republic in Euro 2016.
Saturday’s games will come too soon for David Stockdale and Connor Goldson, who are recovering from foot and knee injuries respectively, while Solly March could return to action in September.
“Dale will be available for Saturday’s games after he took a whack on his knee at Crawley.
“We decided he would benefit from resting for a couple of days as opposed to playing tonight and making it worse.
“David trained this week and is close, but it's probably too soon for Saturday, as it is for Connor.
“Jiri will probably be involved, and he is training now. That’s a plus for us. He hasn’t lost too much fitness and it’ll be good to have him back.
“We’re looking at Solly returning after the first international break in September. The good news is he’s had no setbacks and he’s making really good progress. We look forward to having him back as soon as possible.”
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