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HUGHTON: OUR FOCUS HASN'T CHANGED

7 December 2018

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton insists the side’s objectives haven't altered following back-to-back victories that have moved the Seagulls into the top half of the Premier League. 

Consecutive wins over Huddersfield Town and Crystal Palace have lifted the side to 10th ahead of Saturday’s game with Burnley at Turf Moor, but the boss guarded against getting carried away when he met the media on Thursday afternoon. 

Adam Cottier from Premier League Productions asked Hughton whether or not the targets for his team had changed after five wins in the last eight top flight matches. 

“My focus hasn’t changed, irrespective of any league position. Once you start changing your focus and thinking you’re better than you are then there can be a rude awakening around the corner.

“For a side like ourselves who’ve won some matches on the spin like we have, you can also see it go the other way.

“My focus isn’t on our league position, what I do think is about making sure we distance ourselves from the teams below us – we just want to improve both as a team and a club while gaining as many points as possible.”

Jeremy Langdon from Sky Sports News asked the boss for an injury update ahead of the side’s third game in a week, this Saturday in Lancashire.

“We’ll assess Glenn Murray on Friday morning – today it wasn’t as bad as we had originally feared. 

“We’ll give him every opportunity to be fit, he went over on it quite badly and it forced him off, but it isn’t dislocated or anything. It was too sore to continue, and it still is at the moment, we certainly haven’t ruled him out.

“Jose Izquierdo will be similar to Glenn – we expect them both to train on Friday and the we’ll go from there – he took a knock on his knee that was a bit sore, but sometimes over a few days it improves, and we have decisions to make on those two

“Alireza Jahanbakhsh is also fine and he’s trained this week, but this Saturday will be too early for him. He’s done very well this week though and I’d probably see him being available for the game against Chelsea next weekend if he continues at that level.”

Langdon then asked the boss for his thoughts on the exploits of summer arrivals Leon Balogun and Florin Andone after their respective roles over the last two matches. 

“Leon [Balogun] is an experienced playing who can step into the side – he played against Manchester United and he trains very well all the time.

“The reason for that is because he’s behind two very consistently performing players, but he knows that he has to keep applying himself when circumstances like this one arise and opportunities come up. 

“Florin Andone has also done very well recently and we’re all really pleased for him, he’s another who’s trained well despite not being in the side and he’s waited for this opportunity.

“You just hope that when it arrives they put in a performance that’s on a winning side – he’s got two goals in his first two starts and that’s because of the hard work he’s put in.”

Hughton then gave Langdon his thoughts on this Saturday’s opponents.

“They [Burnley] did very well last season but haven’t hit those heights this year – that’s just the nature of the division, but there’s no doubt their exploits last season have raised the expectations.

“To have to play in Europe when you’re not a top six side is always going to be difficult given the number of matches and their squad size.

“I thought they were good on Wednesday against Liverpool and they’ve not changed much since last year – at the moment things are going against them, but they’re a strong side at home and a team who are more than capable of putting a good run of results together.”

The manager finished by telling Cottier from Premier League Productions about his satisfaction with how his team have responded to adversity within matches over recent weeks.

“We’ve reacted well to things like going behind and decisions against us in recent games, and you always look for a response to those events from your players.

“What you want is as many encouraging reactions as possible, it speaks a lot of the team and the collective unity here. 

“You’ll always have things that will disappoint you, but we’ve reacted well in recent weeks.”

Fans can watch the manager’s full look ahead to Saturday’s game above on Seagulls TV – and supporters can sign up to the service by clicking here.


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