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HUGHTON PLEASED WITH PRE-SEASON SQUAD ROTATION

3 August 2018

Paul Hazlewood
Chris Hughton
Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton was pleased with the way he managed to rotate his squad throughout pre-season, following a comfortable 2-1 victory over FC Nantes at the Amex Stadium this evening.
 
Goals in each half from Tomer Hemed and Pascal Gross ensured the Seagulls head into the Premier League season on a winning note, and the manager explained that there are still places to be claimed in the starting line-up for next week’s match against Watford.
 
He said, “What we’ve tried to do in this pre-season is give every player equal minutes, but it gets harder as the season approaches.
 
“We’ll have an in-house game at the training ground, and it’s generally about managing the players in the best way possible.
 
“Generally that last game is some type of indication [of the team that plays in first game of the season], but I wouldn’t say wholly, because we’ve got some players that are pushing to start.”
 
Hughton was pleased to see his side find the net twice after occasionally lacking a clinical edge in front of goal this summer, and is keen to implement a more attacking style of play this season.
 
“Our level of performance hasn’t been bad, but we’ve found it difficult to get the goals that we’ve needed to win some of these pre-season games.
 
“We were very good in that first-half period against a Nantes team that have got a lot of mobility and were very athletic.
 
“But the goals were very welcome and I thought it was night where we could’ve had another couple.
 
“It is the way we certainly would like to play, but we’re in a division with a lot of quality teams. You have to assess what formation you can play, the balance of play and how much of the ball you’re going to have in each game.
 
“We feel like we’ve strengthened our attacking options and hopefully that will give us more opportunities to win more games.”
 
The Seagulls boss also spoke about Glenn Murray’s withdrawal after 15 minutes due to a back problem, but explained how this was merely a precautionary measure and expects the frontman to be back to full training in the next few days.
 
“He’s a little bit sore; he took a whack in training on Thursday and didn’t complete the
training due to his back, but he felt okay to go this evening.
 
“But it became quite obvious early in the game that he was struggling, although we expect him to be training in a few days. Tonight’s game just came too soon for him.”

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