Chris Hughton was delighted with his side's display against Oxford United
Chris Hughton hailed Brighton & Hove Albion’s 4-0 win at Oxford United as the best performance of the club’s pre-season campaign.
Goals from Anthony Knockaert, Tom Cadman and a brace from Tomer Hemed secured a comfortable win at the Kassam Stadium in a performance that the Seagulls – who made a raft of second-half changes – dominated from start to finish.
The Albion boss said, “That’s the best we’ve been in pre-season. We were good for 45 minutes at Crawley before we changed the team, but tonight we were good for the whole game.
“When you make ten changes by 60-odd minutes, the game can drop, but we maintained our levels and I was delighted with that.
“As the game opened up we managed to score more goals so it was a good all-round performance. I was also delighted for the young lads who came on; it was a nice test for the them, and something we’ve been able to do this pre-season is give them game time and they’ve acquitted themselves really well.”
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Hughton was pleased to see Hemed grab his two quick-fire late goals, both from Jamie Murphy assists, and he is expecting competition for places in the Albion attack this season.
“Credit to Tomer, he was able to capitalise on the space as the game opened up – but I also thought Jamie Murphy was very good when he came on.”
“What we want is four players up front, whether that is ‘number nines’ or players playing off the front man, who are competing for places and giving us options.
“We're happy where we are physically, but there are still 11 days to go until the start of the season and we have got to peak at the right time and we know Derby away will be a completely different matter. The first game of the season is also different as you are running on adrenaline but the indications are good from what I saw tonight.”
Liam Rosenior and Dale Stephens were both taken off with calf and knee knocks respectively, but Hughton was quick to point out that they were both minor problems.
“Dale got a kick but he could have carried on. He was one of the players we were going to take off soon after anyway, so that’s why he came off when he did.
“Liam received a knee in his calf, which will be sore for a couple of days, but he will also be fine.”
Albion end their pre-season fixtures with a showpiece game against Serie A giants Lazio at the Amex on Sunday and Hughton is looking forward to the occasion.
“Lazio at home is great for the supporters and will be our final sharpening up before the season starts. Generally, there will not be too many surprises in terms of who plays on the day but we’re looking forward to another competitive game.”
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