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HUGHTON: KNOCKAERT LUCKY TO CONTINUE

28 August 2017

Paul Hazlewood
Chris Hughton and Paul Trollope talk on the sideline at Vicarage Road.

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton felt Anthony Knockaert was lucky to come away unscathed after Miguel Britos’s late challenge led to the Watford defender being dismissed at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

The Seagulls were handed a numerical advantage after the Uruguayan saw red for a mistimed tackle after just 24 minutes, and Hughton was relieved to see Albion’s French winger continue.

He said, “My impression at the time was that it was absolutely a red card. It was a two-footed, dangerous tackle that did catch Anthony [Knockaert].

“Anthony was lucky, because it wasn't a two-footed challenge that didn’t catch him, it was a two-footed challenge that did catch him. But credit to Anthony, he’s a tough one, but he’s also a very lucky one as well.

“If you look at the players who can make a difference in our team, he’s certainly high up there. He’s had less football than everybody else, which is why I brought him off, but overall, I thought he was very good.”

With Glenn Murray missing through injury, Tomer Hemed led the line for the Seagulls, and although Hughton was pleased with the Israeli’s performance, he would have liked another striker on the bench.

“I thought Tomer [Hemed] worked very hard for the team, but with this division, it’s not only who you’ve got on the pitch but also what you’re able to do off the bench.

“Looking at the bench, we didn't have that natural centre forward. If Tomer had got injured, we would have had to have looked at a plan B, and perhaps put Jose [Izquierdo] or Jamie Murphy up top.

“We need to make sure that we have a complete squad, hopefully we will by the end of the window.”

Albion’s quest to sign Raphael Dwamena ended with the Ghanaian striker failing his medical before their trip to Vicarage Road, but Hughton is now focused on doing more business before the transfer window shuts on Thursday.

“It’s disappointing [Dwamena deal] but we have to move on from there. It’s unfortunate for us but more unfortunate for the lad.

“We have to move on and we’ve now got five days to work as hard as we can to make this squad as good as it can be.

“It’s a tough window for the likes of ourselves, with the levels of transfer fees and salaries. What we would have liked to have done is to have done a lot of our business early, but it’s not to be.

“We have done some business, which I think has been good business, but if we’re able to get what we want, and it happens to be later, then that’s what we’ll have to work around.”


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