Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton wants his side to approach tomorrow night’s game with Crystal Palace with both determination and a level-headed mentality.
The manager met with the media this morning ahead of Tuesday’s game at the Amex Stadium and discussed a range of topics with Mark McAdam from Sky Sports News and Adam Cottier from Premier League Productions.
McAdam asked the boss about some of the matches over the Premier League weekend, and Hughton insisted he wanted his side to show passion and desire whilst remaining focused.
“You want part of those emotions anyway because we want the players to recognise what this game means to everyone.
“You want to be respectful for the club and supporters, but once the game starts you have to treat it as a normal game that you have to approach in the correct way tactically to get what you need from the contest.
“If you’re too emotional then you know what can happen, so we have to be smart about it and go about our business in the right way – take the passion and fight that comes with this game and approach it sensibly.”
Hughton also discussed the rivalry between the two clubs with McAdam and emphasised the need for his team to perform at a high level.
“It’s a big game for the fans and both sides will be confident having won at the weekend – as manager of this football club I understand what this game means to the supporters.
“That works for both sets of fans and both clubs – I think there’s a nice feel for our team after the weekend, in general I think matches between the two teams have been close, certainly in my time here and I expect that to be the case again on Tuesday.
“We’ll have to perform at a good level because they’re talented team and a good side, I think their position in the league doesn’t necessarily reflect their ability and shows how tough the division is.
“They have an excellent manager who knows how to get results and set up his side, as well as match-winners and we know we’ll have to be good to get a result.
“We’re the home side and we have to be able to try and take advantage of that, as well as taking the emotion out of the game when we can."
The side picked up their second away win of the season at the weekend against Huddersfield Town, and the boss discussed the importance of the victory on the road.
“It was an important one, and one which had a little bit extra to it given that it was away from home where we’ve found things a little bit more difficult.
“It was also somewhere where we’d struggled in the past too and not played that well, so it was big for us with where we are in our current run of games.
“It was also a bit of a mental barrier to get over as well – we know that for a team like ourselves it’s tougher away from home. It’s something that’s always a challenge for us and we’re always looking to improve our record.”
Cottier from Premier League Productions asked the boss about Florin And one after the Romanian striker won the game for the Seagulls at the weekend, and Hughton highlighted the competition for places he now has within the squad.
“He’s pushed hard, and it’s been difficult for him – he’s had a few small problems in his lead up to getting fit, but I want as many options and challenges as possible.
“I’m really pleased for him now and he deserved it – I have a competitive squad at the moment which is what I want, and around that there will be challenges for everybody.
“There will be players who are disappointed and ones who are happy, on any one particular circumstance I have numerous decisions to make in every game.”