The key talking points from the manager's pre-match press conference.
At his pre-match press conference, Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton delivered the team news, assessed the vast range of options available to Derby boss Steve McClaren, spoke about Beram’s Kayal’s return to the starting line-up, and highlighted his team’s positive home record.
Team news: “Chuba [Akpom] is training this morning and will certainly be in the squad. We have a 20, 21-man squad and he’ll be involved in that.
“Seb [Pocognoli] is close but not close enough, so he won’t be involved. Certainly with Gaetan [Bong], he’s just that little bit further away.
“He’s [Vegard Forren] done one day of training but we were aware of where he is in regards to his fitness. It’s for us to assess him over these next few days and see exactly where he is.
“Shane [Duffy] had the operation and certainly at this moment, he’ll be out for a minimum of six weeks. Thats’s something we anticipated once we knew the decision was to operate.
“It’s a blow for us but it’s one that we have to work around. [Uwe] Huenemeier came in at Rotherham and did very well, but we’re looking forward to getting Shane back as quick as possible."
Derby’s options: “We’ve always known about the options they have. They’ve got a very good squad, but I know they’ve found it difficult in defensive areas over the last few games.
“Similar to ourselves, they’ve had a couple of centre-halves out. But Derby have always had a very big squad that’s full of quality.
“They do have options and it will always be down to the manager [Steve McClaren] in regard to how he manoeuvres the squad.
“Whether he makes changes, whether he’s happy with the last game or whether he wants to go the same way; he’s certainly got enough very good options if he does want to change."
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Beram Kayal’s return: “He’s a big player for us. Beram was involved for all of last season, started this season and picked up an injury, and sometimes it takes longer to get back in that anticipated.
“That’s down to competition in the squad. Once you’re out of the side, if there are other players doing well and have that little bit of rhythm, it makes it more difficult to get back to where you were before.
“That’s the nature of the game and Beram is no different to other players that have been in a similar position."
Winning at the Amex: “Our home form has always been key to the position we’ve had in this division, particularly over the last couple of seasons in my time here.
“We certainly put great importance on that, but we’re in a division where the teams at the top end are pushing very hard at the moment.
“You have to keep the mindset of winning your home games, but we also know we've got away games where we’ll have to get victories as well."
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