Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton praised his opposite number Tony Pulis ahead of Saturday’s game at the Amex, and believes the West Bromwich Albion boss always finds a way to produce positive results.
The Baggies are unbeaten after two victories and a draw from their opening Premier League fixtures, and Hughton has been impressed with their progress since Pulis was appointed 2015.
He said, “If I’m looking at the ingredients of what you need, which is good foundations and a really good squad, they certainly have the strong basis to have a good season.
“They’ve recruited well in the summer. They’ve built on what they’ve got every single year, and I would see this as arguably the strongest squad that they’ve had.
“I know Tony [Pulis] very well and he knows how to get results. Sometimes when they’ve missed out on players or had injuries, Tony has a knack of getting the best out of players.
“You’ve only got to look at the players that have gone there and very much enhanced their game.”
Albion will be without central midfield pairing Beram Kayal and Steve Sidwell, who are both out injured, but Hughton insists his playing squad has the flexibility and quality to deal with their absence.
“He’s a valuable member of our squad, particularly in that midfield area. When [Beram] Kayal went, we thought about bringing somebody in, but our thinking was that we had good numbers in there.
“It’s a disappointment but we can work around that. We’ve got Pascal [Gross] who’s primarily a midfield player, but has been playing a little more advanced.
“We brought Davy [Propper] in because of his flexibility. It was brilliant for him to score two goals [for the Netherlands], but was it a major surprise? No, because we know he’s a quality player.
“He can get into advanced positions if he’s allowed to or if the tactics demand that he does that. The position he played for his country allowed him to do that, and I think he’ll be a good player for us.”
The Seagulls are still waiting for their first Premier League goal of the season, but Hughton is confident that his team will soon find their scoring touch, as they did last season.
“We haven't scored a goal yet, so it’s a concern at this moment - that has to be the case. But am I confident that we’ll score? Yes.
“What we had last season was goals from elsewhere as well. Anthony Knockaert scored goals for us; he’s now back and I thought he played very well at Watford.
“Davy scored in midweek, so whether that’s from midfield, the wide areas, Jose [Izquierdo], Solly March, Anthony or Jamie Murphy - we’ve got to show is that we can score goals from other areas.”