Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton highlighted the importance of the international break and getting certain players back up to speed after injury.
The majority of Albion’s squad will be put through their paces at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre this week, and Hughton prioritised this time over allowing his players to take part in the Checkatrade Trophy match against Oxford United.
“We made a decision to make good use of these three days, as opposed to playing any of the players in the Checkatrade Trophy game at Oxford.
“We will have three tough days of training, but there is a balance and the ones that have been playing regularly won’t do all three days.
“The ones that haven’t been playing will get three really good days of training and there are a few players that fall into that category. Izzy [Brown] has been out for a while and it’s a good opportunity to get Glenn [Murray] close to where we need him.”
The Seagulls head into the latest international break following a 2-0 defeat away at Arsenal, and Hughton explained there were plenty of reasons to be positive after the game.
“They had a lot of possession, which we expected, but they didn’t create many clear chances.
“I was a bit disappointed with the goals we conceded, but with the second one you have to hold your hands up and say it was a bit of real quality and genius.
“We were in the game and broke into some really good areas and maybe the only disappointment was that we needed to show a bit more confidence once we got into those areas.”
Hughton also praised under-23 duo George Cox and James Tilley, who signed new two and three-year deals respectively.
“Those two players signing new contracts is a consequence of the form they’ve shown. We’ve known of Tilley for some time, and he has played at a good level for a while now.
“George has made really good progress and it just goes to show that some players develop a bit younger, whereas others can improve over a period of time. That’s certainly been the case with Cox.
“Tilley is going through a really good phase and I thought he was our best player against Oxford, so I’m really delighted to have both of them here.”