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Club News


6 August 2017

Paul Hazlewood
Albion manager Chris Hughton.

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton understands the attraction behind today’s sell-out fixture against Atletico Madrid at the Amex, and highlighted the wonderful challenge facing his players.

The Seagulls will end their pre-season campaign against Diego Simeone’s team, with the likes of Antoine Griezmann and Fernando Torres expected to feature, and Hughton showed his delight towards the high-profile fixture.

He said, “The fact that the game has sold out, shows what this type of game means to the supporters here. But from a footballing point of view, it’s a massive game for us.

“We’re here the following week against Manchester City, and it doesn't come any tougher or more difficult than that in the Premier League.

“We’re up against massive opposition; Atletico have certainly been in the top few teams in Europe, if not world football, in the last few years.

“To be playing them at the Amex is great, firstly for this football club; but also as a team, it’s a wonderful challenge and test for us.”

Albion are under a week away from their first-ever Premier League fixture, and although Hughton understands the excitement around the city, he urged his players to remain focused on the task in hand.

“There’s a different feel between the players, supporters and the club. I think the reason why there’s a different feel is because the players know they have to be that way.

“They know what the challenges are and have very much parked last season away. They know that the only way to concentrate and be able to get the best out of them, is to fully focus on where we are now.

“But we’re very conscious that we’ve got a support that were brilliant for us last season, and they’re very much looking forward to this season.

“Our responsibility is to try and keep everybody grounded as possible, because the Premier League is the reality and it’s also very tough. It’s important to keep everybody’s feet on the floor.”

Hughton praised the club’s supporters for their impressive support throughout pre-season, and believes Atletico’s visit will provide his players with the ideal test ahead of their Premier League debut next week.

“We’ll be playing in front of a full house, and for that to happen in a pre-season friendly, it really doesn't happen that often. It shows what this type of fixture means to our supporters and it’s a great rehearsal for the first game of the season.”

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