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HUGHTON ON: LEICESTER CITY

30 March 2018

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton met the media on Thursday afternoon ahead of the game with Leicester City at the Amex Stadium.

The Seagulls boss discussed Saturday’s opponents, the international break, the competition within the squad and the final phase of the Premier League season.

LEICESTER CITY

"I think we learnt a fair bit from the defeat in August and there wasn’t much in the performance, we played well but some of the strengths that we knew they had at that time were ones we should have nullified better – I think we’ve come on since then.

"At the moment they’re showing their quality after a difficult period – from our point of view we have to get results to stay in the league, whereas they will be looking to push into that European spot.

"You never know how a game will pan out, but what we are very aware of is their qualities and the areas of their game which can hurt us.

"But we’re at home, and we’ve been in good form there – you can’t go into any home game looking for anything less than a win. There are different ways of doing that, so we must be conscious of their qualities.

"Jamie Vardy is one obvious danger and I thought we did ok against him earlier in the season, but he has obvious strengths to those who play against them.

"He’s reliant on a good team behind him and the service and their recent goals show that – credit to him because he keeps improving and he’s rightly part of the England squad."

INTERNATIONAL BREAK

"We’ve had six players away on international duty and their participation was quite good for us. They had a mixture of one or two matches respectively, so that’s good for us and we took the rest away for some warm weather training and that went very well.

"We hope it’s been a good time and you want to hit the ground running in the next game – we’ve only had two weeks off since our last game whereas some have had three weeks, so we’re fortunate in that respect as well.

"The only doubts had been Gaetan Bong – who will be fit, and then we also need to make a decision on Dale Stephens ahead of the weekend. Apart from that, everyone else is fully fit."

SQUAD COMPETITION?

"We’ll be without Anthony Knockaert and Leonardo Ulloa this weekend and it’s good for us to have competition in the squad - that’s why you bring players in and why they train as well, as they do in the week.

"You have to wait for opportunities, and we’ve also had players who’ve played themselves into the team over the course of the campaign, when players are missing for whatever reason then you want people to be able to fill their places. 

"I’m really pleased Tomer Hemed after he played and scored for Israel – it’s important he continues to get game time. Sometimes you’re happy for players not to start when they go away but in his case we were delighted for him."

LAST PHASE OF THE SEASON

"If I look at our performances this season, we know we have to play under pressure because every game is tough.

"What we’ve learnt is we have to meet a level to get a result – last season we perhaps would have got away with some performances and still got the results that we wanted. 

"I think that pressure is there all the time and you want that, because the moment you get complacent then the results can change and when they do that in this division, it can go the other way very quickly – we’ve been consistent recently and got results but the moment you start thinking you’re close or under less pressure it can go the other way.

"If you had told me we’d be in this position at the start of the campaign when we got to this stage of the season then I would have been delighted."

Supporters can watch the manager's full look ahead to Saturday's game with Leicester City above on Seagulls TV - fans can sign up to the service by clicking here.


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