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HUGHTON HIGHLIGHTS INCREASE IN QUALITY

29 July 2017

Paul Hazlewood
Albion manager Chris Hughton at Carrow Road.

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton highlighted the step up in quality that Norwich City provided in this afternoon’s 1-1 draw at Carrow Road, as their unbeaten run in pre-season was extended to four games.

After recording victories over Fortuna Dusseldorf, Crawley Town and Southend United in recent weeks, the Seagulls came up against Championship opposition, and Hughton acknowledged the increase in difficulty.

He said, “It was a tough run out and what we always thought was that, almost if you put the pre-season games into two halves, we knew we were going up a level now.

“They’re a very good side that played a different system. We knew we were coming into a game which would be a bigger test for us and it showed that.

“Generally, I think we were quite solid and defended well against a very expansive team, but we probably needed to be a little bit better on the ball today.”

The Canaries get their Championship campaign underway a week earlier than Hughton’s team, and the Albion boss assessed the fitness levels of his squad, as they get ready for the start of the Premier League.

“They’re a week ahead of us, but I wouldn’t say that particularly showed, because we’re also on the back of some good games and good work in pre-season.

“At times, they were good on the ball, very expansive and sometimes that looks like they're a little bit ahead of us.

“But that’s the reason why we’re here, it’s a really good workout and we’ve come to a good team. We need to take the positives into the game on Tuesday, and then of course, the last one next Sunday.”

Albion’s next game is against La Liga outfit Girona in Spain next Tuesday, and Hughton looked ahead to his team’s final two pre-season fixtures.

“The opposition almost doesn’t come any tougher than our last game against Atletico Madrid, and Girona is a team, like ourselves, that has got promotion from Segunda to La Liga.

“Again, it’s another tough game away from home, with a different atmosphere. That’s the reason why we took the game and it will be another high-level game.”


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