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HUGHTON WANTS PLAYERS TO SEIZE OPPORTUNITY

24 January 2017

The Albion boss is keen to occupy top spot.


Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton is encouraging his players to seize the chance to return to the top of the Sky Bet Championship table, ahead of tonight’s meeting with Cardiff City at the Amex.
 
The Seagulls have the opportunity to go above Newcastle United with victory over the Bluebirds, and Hughton believes that reaching the league summit can only be a positive indication of how well his players are performing.
 
He said, “Of course we’d like to be top. The best thing about being top is that there’s a bigger gap and you’ve made ground on the teams below you; that’s an important aspect.
 
“We all expect Newcastle to be up there because of the quality that they’ve got, and the closer we can stay to them, it gives us the best-possible chance.
 
“It’s a really good opportunity for us to make sure we treat this game in the exact same way that we went about our business against Sheffield Wednesday.
 
“They were a top team and we see this game as no different, but it’s also an opportunity to go back top again.”
 
Connor Goldson and Sebastien Pocognoli came into the side for Albion’s 2-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday last Friday, and Hughton assessed his options at full-back, while praising both players for their contributions.
 
“His experience allows him to not have the rhythm and still come in [Pocognoli]. It’s been a bit stop-start for him, but in the four games that he’s played, he’s played well in all of them.
 
“With Seb and Gaetan [Bong], I don’t think there are many differences, they’re both experienced left-backs.
 
“Connor’s [Goldson] a little bit different because he’s a centre-half that’s played at right back, but of course, he’s predominantly a centre-half.
 
“Probably from an offensive point of view, Bruno would be more natural at getting into forward areas, but Connor’s a good footballer and that’s the reason he can play there.”

Albion were held to a 0-0 draw with Cardiff City earlier this season, and Hughton expects another competitive game when Neil Warnock’s team visit the Amex, following three consecutive league victories for the Welsh side.

“In my time here, we haven’t have a comfortable game against Cardiff, they’ve all been tough games and with Neil Warnock, you know what to expect.
 
“You expect a team that will be fighting to get a result, they’re on the back of two good results so they’ll be in good form, confident form.
 
“But we’re at home and we’d like to capitalise on that. We’re also on the back of a really good home victory on Friday, but we expect nothing short of a really tough game.”

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