The key talking points from the manager's press conference.
At his pre-match press conference, Chris Hughton delivered the latest team news, looked ahead to Tuesday’s match at Ipswich Town and reflected on last season’s victory at Portman Road, before reviewing Rob Hunt’s progress.
Team News: “Beram Kayal is still a bit sore, so he’ll miss the game at Ipswich and we’ll assess it afterwards. Hopefully he could be fit for the weekend [at Sheffield Wednesday].
“The games come thick and fast, and if we think we have any chance [of him playing] on Saturday, then playing Tuesday would mean the turnaround is too fast.
“One reason why we acquired [Steve] Sidwell and [Oliver] Norwood was because we wanted competition in that position.
“It’s been tough for Rohan Ince, as we were hoping to get him out on loan during the summer, but it didn’t materialise.
“We wanted strong options in there, and in Dale [Stephens] and Beram, they both played a lot of games last season, and there’s no guarantees that they can play the same number of games again.
“You want competition, and certainly in those four, we’ve got good, experienced players who can fight for their position.
“We’ve got Seb [Sebastien Pocognoli], Rob Hunt and also Bruno who can play at left-back, so I do have options in there [to replace the suspended Gaetan Bong].
“Decision making is always a little more comfortable when you’re off the back of a win.”
Looking ahead to Ipswich: “We’ll go there looking to win the game, as we always do.
“We know at this level that going to a tough place away from home and not winning, but drawing the game, is not a bad result.
“These results build up over a season, but we always go to win the game. Even in a tougher performance up at Newcastle, we conceded two goals from set-plays but arguably had the two best chances.
“We’ll definitely go to try and win the game, but we’ll have to play well, as it’s a very tough place to go.”
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Ipswich away last season: “That was arguably our best performance away from home last season. Kazenga [LuaLua] was in really good form that day, and it was also the first time we played [Liam] Rosenior on the right side of midfield.
“It was a good day for us, but it's a long time ago now."
Rob Hunt’s progress: “Rob is one of those players who’s worked hard to come through the system; he’s trained with the first team every day.
“He’s probably played at right-back more than he’s played at left-back, but he’s comfortable on both sides.
“If there’s a decision to play him, or to bring him on, I’d have no worries in doing that.
“He’s a late developer in some ways, and it’s a nice story. Sometimes you have a lad that’s been at a club since seven, eight years of age, but Rob was one that was recognised a little bit later.
“He’s a naturally two-footed player, which is unusual for a full-back, because sometimes you get that in a midfield player.
“He’s almost as good with either foot, which is very unusual. If I look at what we have here, we’ve got some players who are good with both feet, but generally, you don’t get somebody who’s natural with both feet.
“For a lad that’s not very tall; he’s physical enough, quick enough, and he’s a very steady campaigner.”
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