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HUGHTON: SQUAD IN A GOOD PLACE

23 July 2016

Albion's manager hailed a productive day for his squad.


Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton says plenty can be taken from today’s double header with Luton and Stevenage and insists his squad are in a good place ahead of the new season.

Despite narrow 2-1 and 1-0 defeats to the Hatters and Boro respectively, Hughton was pleased to allow his regular first-teamers more vital minutes on the pitch.

He said, “I’m certainly glad of the way we did it because it allowed us to get nearly all of the senior players close to 90 minutes.

“Results wise it hasn’t been the best, but that’s not the most important thing, even though you don’t want to lose any games.

“The important thing is we’ve got two games to go and have got a really important day’s work under our belts.

“In both games we had some good work on the ball, but without threatening enough.

“That’s probably been lacking. We haven’t got ourselves into enough goalscoring opportunities.

“Every manager will tell you that you can have good pre-seasons and not so good pre-seasons, but as soon as that whistle goes in the first game, the intensity becomes a bit different.

“From a fitness point of view, we still have two weeks to go and most of the players have played 90-minute games.”

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Hughton was pleased to welcome David Stockdale and Jiri Skalak back for the games, while Dale Stephens is expected to return on Tuesday after being ruled out of today’s matches with a knee injury.

“Stocko has missed a chunk of pre-season; while from a fitness point of view, Jiri is okay and hasn’t missed a lot of football, but we chose only to give him 45 minutes.

“Dale should be available for Tuesday. He wanted to play today and it was us who stopped him because we thought we could give him an extra recovery day.

“We’re just a touch short of where we want to be. We’re certainly in a much better position than we were last season in terms of numbers. We just need to supplement it with one or two.”

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