Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton gave his assessment on a handful of Albion players that featured for the Seagulls against Southampton in midweek, as rotation gave others the chance to get minutes under their belt.
Summer arrivals Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Yves Bissouma were handed home debuts against the Saints, and Hughton commented on the early indications that both players are showing in blue and white.
“We know that from what he produced in Holland last season. He’ll certainly get up to speed, and the likes of the Southampton game wouldn’t have done him any harm.
“[Yves] Bissouma is in front of him because he had a decent pre-season and that probably shows on the pitch. I thought he was excellent.”
Hughton made the most of Bernardo’s versatility, as the Brazilian shifted into central defence alongside under-23 defender Ben Barclay, and the Albion boss explained his thought process, in a game which also saw Pascal Gross take up a deeper role.
“Bernardo has played in central defence before, he’s not somebody that’s always played at left-back. There weren't any huge concerns with playing him there. I just dealt with the options I had.
“I knew I had two young centre-halves, so I made a decision to play a three in central midfield. I felt that Pascal [Gross], who’s very good on the ball, could orchestrate more from a deeper position.
“It’s not really a position that I see him in regularly, but he can certainly play there.”
Jurgen Locadia led the line for the Seagulls, as he made his first start of the campaign, and Hughton believes the Dutchman could benefit from a hint of fortune going his way.
“There are players who haven't played as regularly as others, and sometimes it takes a little bit longer to get into a rhythm and reach the real levels of competitiveness. But I thought Jurgen [Locadia] worked hard enough.
“When you’re a striker who’s been playing regularly, things seem to fall for you more and it gives you more of an edge. Jurgen just needs a break in front of goal.”