Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton met the media yesterday, ahead of this weekend’s game with Cardiff City.
The Seagulls make the trip to South Wales for a lunchtime kick-off against the Bluebirds tomorrow, and the boss confirmed that he’d be without a quartet of faces for the contest.
Lyall Thomas from Sky Sports began by asking the boss for a team news update…
“The two that have been unavailable for the last few games are Pascal Gross and Davy Propper – and they will still miss out this weekend.
“Alireza Jahanbakhsh picked up a slight strain last weekend against Everton and we were hopeful that he’d train this week – but at this moment he hasn’t done that and so he’s a doubt this Saturday too.
“David Button has also got a slight knee problem, but he’s another who’s very close to a return.
“It’s something we’re used to with injuries – but what we do have is good competition within the squad, and any time a player is missing it means that it’s a good opportunity for somebody else.
“Compared to other sides we’ve been quite lucky, when you have players out for a longer period of time then it becomes a problem, but on the whole, I’d say we haven’t had that.
“Alireza’s injury is fresh – but Pascal has trained us this week and both him and Davy are scheduled to train with us on Monday – so then it’s about the work they do over that period of time that will determine how close they will be.”
Thomas then went on to get the manager’s thoughts on this weekend’s opponents…
“It goes without saying that when you get used to this league you recognise that trips to teams who aren’t in the top six might not be as daunting – but this is still only our second season in the division.
“We know them quite well as a team, and their level of performance this season has been relatively good on the whole despite the results.
“They’re at home and they’ll have good backing from the crowd, so our approach is exactly the same as any other away game – but every game is an opportunity for us.”
Lewis Dunk’s second inclusion in an England squad was confirmed shortly before the boss met the press, and Hughton told Thomas that he believes the defender fully deserves his call-up…
“It’s the result of the platform he’s progressed from at this football club – not all of that has been under me and I’m sure Lewis will be thankful to a lot of other coaches who have worked here.
“But he’s earnt it, he embarked on last year in the Premier League and did himself great credit in first season at this level. There are so many good players in this division and good English ones – competition is high.
“For him to get into his second squad is testament to the hard work he’s put in.”
Jonny Cantor from BBC Sussex then concluded the broadcast section of the press conference by getting the manager to preview the side’s upcoming sequence of matches against teams outside of the top six…
“It’s a crucial period for us but when you play in this division you always go through spells like that.
“The law of averages obviously says that you’ll get more points against the sides who’re not in the top six or seven – but you have to be able to capitalise on that run.
“After this weekend we would have played seven away games compared to five at home – but you have to be able to capitalise on those periods.”