At his pre-match press conference, Chris Hughton assessed the club’s business in the transfer window, his thoughts on the early closure of the transfer window and the aims for next season, as well as discussing a challenging start to the new campaign.
Summer recruitment: “We’re happy with who’ve we recruited over the summer, in particular with a couple of players that we brought in early.
“We’ve brought in a few young players that will feature for the under-23s. We’ve bought in a number of players for the first team, but have also lost some as well.
"We’re a stronger squad now, but what we’ve also managed to do is bring down the average age. Bernardo is 23, Jakhanbakhsh and Andone are in their mid-20s, while Bissouma is 21.
"We’re starting the season with a stronger squad, but that’s not a detriment to the players that have been here before.
“Overall, I am happy with the work we’ve done this summer.”
Early closure of the window: “From a personal point of view, yes [happy it closed early]. It helps in terms of knowing the players you’ve got from the start of the season.
That’s a personal opinion, but I can understand that the Champions League and Europa League teams feels it’s a disadvantage. But from a club and personal point of view, I think it’s a good thing.”
Aims for next season: “We hope that we can take the experiences of last season into the new season.
“My job is to get the balances right, improve the team, and make sure we’re in the Premier League again in the following season.
“It’s our responsibility to make sure we do well enough as a team to make sure that we have a decent season; that can mean finishing where we did last season or higher, but ultimately it’s about making sure we stay in the division.”
A challenging start: “It’s a difficult start; you look at the first seven games and we’ve got four of the top six.
“But the first one to think about is away to Watford on Saturday and trying to get a result there. We will go into every game looking to get something, but the challenges are to concede fewer goals from set plays and improve away to the top six. We were very good at home, but can we improve away from home? There are a lot of good challenges for us.”