The key talking points from the manager's press conference.
At his pre-match press conference, Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton delivered the team news, gave his thoughts on rotating the squad, spoke about the importance of the EFL Cup, and analysed Jaap Stam’s impact at Reading.
Team News: “Apart from Richie Towell, who’s been out for a while, and two unfortunate ones in Kazenga [LuaLua] and Liam [Rosenior], we’ve got a fully fit, squad.
“I will be making a lot of changes. Both performances, and certainly results, have got us through to the next round, but the performances have been particularly good.
“He will start [Sebastian Pocognoli], and he’s trained very well since he’s been here. He had some games in pre-season for West Brom, however he’s behind most of the lads in regards to the number of matches he’s played.
“It’s a good game for him to come into, as I suspect it will be a very competitive. We’ll get a good opinion of him once we see him in action, but he’s very experienced, so I’m sure he’ll be fine.”
Squad Rotation: “The team that we’ll field on Tuesday is very much one that we want to win the game with, and if I didn’t think that we could, then I wouldn’t play that team.
“It’s a competition that we want to go further in, we’re at home and we’re on the back of two good performances, so we want to go through again.
“In general terms, irrespective of what team you play, I never like to say we’re not fielding our strongest team, because most of the players who play on Tuesday have been regulars at some stage.
“When you’re looking at the likes of Uwe [Huenemeier] and Connor [Goldson], who’ve had good periods in the team, or [Oliver] Norwood and [Steve] Sidwell, these are all players that have played."
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EFL Cup progress: “Any thought of a quarter-final is serious business, but you can never think that far ahead. The competition gives us a real good opportunity for games, so we’re really delighted to still be in it.
“It’s a competition we welcome, because when you’re in a good rhythm, it’s a good time to play, and when things haven’t gone so well, it gives you the opportunity to put things right.
“I still value the cup competitions very highly, but in relation to promotion, of course it comes after that.
“The league has to take president, but none of us in the game like to undermine the competition, because it is a big one, and if you every said to me, ‘would you rather be in or out of it?’ I would always rather be in it.”
Jaap Stam’s impact: “There’s no doubt that as a defender he was a tough, compromising player, and of course he wants his team to defend well, but every manager comes into the game playing a particular way, and sometimes that can be different to what people saw in their playing style.
“The Dutch influence is there. It’s a very technical, tactical team and perhaps I see that more than an individual influence.
“He comes across as a strong personality, and whatever your approach is, you’ve got to be strong minded in what you want.
“He’s very enthusiastic on the touchline, and looks like a manager who gives everything he has to do well.”
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