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HUGHTON AWARE OF PRESTON THREAT

14 January 2017

Albion's manager says lessons need to be learned from the reverse fixture.


Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton urged his team to learn from their 2-2 draw with Preston North End earlier in the season, ahead of their trip to Deepdale on Saturday.

The Seagulls conceded deep into stoppage time against the Lilywhites at the Amex, and Hughton believes his team are wiser for the experience, as they look to extend their lead at the top of the Sky Bet Championship.

He said, “You always learn something from a defeat or a disappointing draw, and that was probably one of the real disappointments of our season so far [2-2 at the Amex].

“Going from a winning position to a drawing position in the last moments of a game is always one of the most frustrating things for a manager.

“We know they can change the game in certain ways with the type of players that they have.

“Against this type of opposition, you have to make sure you’re thorough in your game right through until the last moment, and hopefully we’ve learned that.”

Albion centre-half Lewis Dunk will miss the game as he serves the second game of his two-match suspension, but Hughton showed confidence in whoever replaces the defender.

“Lewis [Dunk] is a player that’s in really good form at the moment. He’s somebody that’s developing with every game, but I have no problems or issues with whoever takes his place.

“What he’s had this season is that level of consistency that you like to get from your defensive players, but whoever comes in will be coming into a team that’s had to adapt occasionally.

“In Uwe [Huenemeier] and Connor [Goldson], we have two centre-halves that have both been pushing very hard; Connor’s been on the bench for most of this season and was very good in the second half of last season.

“I haven’t picked the team yet, I generally pick the team the day before. But whoever comes in, I’m quite sure will do a very good job.”

The Seagulls are yet to record a league victory at Deepdale, but Hughton insisted that won’t enter his players’ thoughts and they’ll approach the game with their usual mentality.

“We wouldn’t give that a thought. It’s tougher away from home, there’s no doubt about that. That’s enough motivation, it’s a tough place to go [Deepdale].

“We’ve been fairly good on our travels this season and for us to do well in the league this season, you have to pull out results on tough away days.

“Fortunately for us, we’ve been able to do that this season. Our mentality will never change, whether we were playing Newcastle or Sheffield Wednesday away from home, it has to be the same.”

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