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HUGHTON'S CAREFUL TEAM SELECTION

19 September 2017

Paul Hazlewood
Chris Hughton

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton admitted the depth of his squad has to be considered when selecting his team, but insists tonight’s Carabao Cup game against Bournemouth is a great opportunity for a number of players.

The Albion boss recognised the injuries in central midfield and forward areas, but highlighted the trip to the Vitality Stadium as a perfect opportunity for players to collect valuable game time.

He said, “In some cases it has to be that way [using the squad]. We have a good squad, but we’re a touch lighter in some areas with [Steve] Sidwell and [Beram] Kayal [missing] in that midfield area.

“With Izzy Brown, who’s back in training, and Sam Baldock [also out], we don’t quite have the options we’d like in the forward areas.

“There are areas where we’ve got to be mindful, but it’s also a good opportunity for those that have trained really well, as they've been pushing to get a chance.”

Record signing Jose Izquierdo could receive his first start for the Seagulls against the Cherries, after two substitute appearances, and Hughton assessed his attacking options on the flanks.

“From Izquierdo’s point of view, what we’ve had in Solly March and Anthony [Knockaert] is a good level of performance.

“It was a tough night for Anthony. [Charlie] Daniels has really developed as a player and made it very difficult on that flank.

“But their form has been generally quite good, so the desperate need to put him straight in [Izquierdo] hasn't been there.

“He’s predominantly been a right-footed player that’s played on the left. He can play in other position, but he’s probably like Solly March, who can play on either flank and can play off the front too.

“But we’d always see Solly as a wide player, and that’s predominately what we brought him [Izquierdo] in for, and that’s where I see him playing more.”

After remaining with the Seagulls, despite coming close to a loan move elsewhere, Connor Goldson could also feature this evening, and Hughton backed the defender to apply pressure within the squad.

“From the possibility of Connor going on loan, it was very much from both sides, as we wanted him to go on loan as well, because he’d missed, in effect, the whole of last season.

“It was disappointing for him, but as with most players that end up not going, they get on with it. Once that deadline has gone, they have no choice but to get on with it.

“I have to say, Connor has been very good and he’s now pushing for a first-team place. I’ve opted for Uwe [Huenemeier] on the bench on most occasions, but they’re both pushing now.”


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