Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton was pleased to give summer signing Florin Andone his first minutes in the Premier League on Saturday against Everton, and urged the forward to continue putting pressure on top goalscorer Glenn Murray.
The Romanian was introduced in the 78th minute at Goodison Park, moments after Richarlison extended Everton’s lead to 3-1, and Hughton is now keen to see the 25-year-old push for a starting position.
He said, “It certainly would have been better to get him on at 2-1, which was the plan and what we were trying to do, but we then conceded the third goal.
“It was good to get him on and give him the minutes. He’s waited a while and has missed periods through injury since he’s been with us, but he’s fully up to speed now and motivated.
"The difficulty he’s had is that in Glenn [Murray] there’s been a centre forward scoring goals in front of him.
“But you’ve got to always make sure you’re fit and put as much pressure on as you can, and make sure that we’ve always got these good options.”
The Toffees ended Albion’s three-game winning streak with a commanding performance on Merseyside, and although Hughton was disappointed with the goals conceded, he highlighted the opposition’s noticeable quality.
“They’ve spent big and brought in good players. When you look at the movement they’ve got, with two full-backs that are playing really well and the balance in the middle, they’re a very good side.
“Everton played very well, but when I look at the goals we conceded, they’re poor goals to concede. There won’t be any of them that we can evaluate and think any differently on.
“But there isn’t anyone that concedes goals and concedes them in a good way. There’s normally somebody who makes a mistake or somebody who could have done better.
“That can happen, particularly when you’re under pressure and playing against a very good team, but we certainly could have done better on the ball and alleviated the pressure on ourselves.”
Albion defender Lewis Dunk gave away possession in the 77th minute, which led to Everton’s third strike, but Hughton put the error into perspective and touched on the 26-year-old’s positive start to the season.
“He’s a centre-half and he made an error — it’s not the first error he’s made and it won’t be the last one. There won’t be any potential England centre-halves that haven’t or won’t make mistakes.
“It’s part and parcel of the job, but what we have to look at is how he’s been for us, and he’s been really excellent for the side."