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HUGHTON PLAYS DOWN EARLY LEAGUE STANDINGS

15 September 2017

Paul Hazlewood
Albion manager Chris Hughton focusing on the game.

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton insists that although the Premier League table cannot be ignored at this stage of the season, it’s significance doesn’t come into real effect until late on in the campaign.

The Seagulls moved up to 14th position with their 3-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion, while tonight’s opponents Bournemouth sit 19th, however Hughton played down the importance of league standings this early on.

He said, ”It's a difficult question, because the table's always in front of us. Although your concentration is not on the table, you look at the table every week, of course you do.

"Certainly for us, the most important thing is to make sure we are out of that bottom three. When does it take significance? I suppose you are looking well into the season, but you are judging it week in and week out.

“We expect it to be a tough season, that's normal. There will be lots of ups and downs and probably more than looking at the table, it will be about how we react to defeats, poor performances, and go again to try to pick up a good result.


"It's a very difficult question because you don't want to be in that bottom three, but when it takes real significance is certainly well into the season.”

The Cherries have made a slow start to the campaign, losing all four of their opening Premier League fixtures, but Hughton showed support towards manager Eddie Howe, who he believes has done a fine job on the south coast.

"If we're talking about young, British managers, there are plenty of outstanding British managers. But if we're talking about Eddie [Howe], what you've got to do is talk about the whole package.

“In terms of this season, it's been a difficult and disappointing start for them but that's nothing they wouldn't have gone through in various periods in the past couple of years.


"What you've got to look at is where he's taken the club and the manner in which he's done it - the way they play and the club he's at - and they're now spending far more money than they’ve done at any time in the past.

"I still think he's an outstanding, young British manager that's looking on every occasion he can to improve his team and improve his abilities. He's done a magnificent job."

Solly March provided the assist for Albion’s first-ever Premier League goal last Saturday, and Hughton praised the winger for his ability and believes the 23-year-old can excel in England's top flight this season.

"I thought he was very good [v West Bromwich Albion]. In my time here, he's picked up little injuries and the last injury he had was more substantial.

“That’s probably hindered his progress a little bit, but there’s no doubt he’s a player that’s got very good ability.


“For him, it’s probably just settling into playing and being around consistently, whether that's starting or coming on.


“He showed last season that he can affect the game from the bench, and I think he’ll be a very important member of the squad this season.”


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