The key talking points from the Albion manager’s press conference.
At his pre-match press conference, Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton delivered the team news ahead of this evening’s game, analysed the strength of Sheffield Wednesday, highlighted the unforgiving nature of the Sky Bet Championship, and looked ahead to Albion’s Emirates FA Cup fourth round game with Lincoln City.
Team news: “Sebastien Pocognoli is fine, Gataen [Bong] will miss out again, he won’t be available for tomorrow night, and Lewis Dunk and Dale Stephens will both be available.
“It wasn’t a close one [Dale Stephens missing Preston game], he was definitely out. He didn’t train on the Thursday and we were hoping he’d come back feeling better on the Friday, but he felt worse.
“But he’s back now, trained very well this week and available for the game.”
Wednesday test: “They certainly don’t come any sterner than Sheffield Wednesday, they’re very good opposition and not only this season, they were exceptional last season as well.
“There were signs the season before of the levels they can reach. They’ve got a very good side in regards to the quality in the team, a very good way of playing and they know how to get results.
“They’ve recruited well and he’s [Carlos Carvalhal] capable of rotating. If I look at what they had last season, they may have had a couple of injuries, but they’ve haven’t really lost anybody.
“So I’d see them as stronger than last season, but I think that’s the quality of the league at the moment, there are a lot of teams that are perhaps stronger than they were last season.
“We know them very well because of the exploits against them this season and last season, so I hope it’s the right type of game for us.”
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Strong Competition: “The form of teams such as Huddersfield, Leeds and Reading have made this a very difficult, competitive league.
“We came away from a defeat at Preston knowing it can happen in this division when you’re not playing at the levels you need to play at, it can happen in any game.
“It wasn’t a game that we deserved to get anything from, albeit that Preston only had two shots on target and we had better possession, but they made better use of the ball than we did.
“So it can happen, but it’s always about learning from it and bouncing back.”
Lincoln in the FA Cup: “They’ve obviously performed well in both games. We saw some of the first game at Ipswich and by all accounts, they deserved the draw there.
“We then watched the game at Lincoln and thought they played very well, and deserved to win. But in regards to the FA Cup and the opportunities for teams to go through, there are levellers.
“I felt for Mick [McCarthy] because it’s a very tough place to go, and it can happen. It’s never nice to be on the end of it, but it just shows you how the levels can change.
“This is the FA Cup, so it’s an exciting prospect and I’m sure we’ll take a good crowd there, and we look forward to it.”
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