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Club News


7 January 2019

Paul Hazlewood
Albion manager Chris Hughton.

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chis Hughton is pleased to see his players distributing the goals around the team, and highlighted the smaller details as the reason behind their recent upturn in form.

The Seagulls extended their unbeaten run to four matches with a 3-1 Emirates FA Cup victory over AFC Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon, with Anthony Knockaert, Yves Bissouma and Florin Andone all finding the back of the net.

Hughton was pleased to see two of his midfielders get their names on the scoresheet, and commented on what's behind his team's positive turnaround in form.

He said, “We’re delighted that we’ve got centre forwards that can score goals, but we’re now spreading the goals around the team.

“We’ve changed shape a little bit, which has given us more possession of the ball and sometimes that can be a good feel as well.

“When you play badly, the preparation is exactly the same, the instructions are exactly the same and it’s then just about performances on the day.

“Generally it’s down to defending better or attacking better. There isn’t anything in particular that you can put your finger on, apart from the obvious — we’re just doing things slightly better in games.”

Hughton made eight changes to the starting line-up at the Vitality Stadium, including to recall of Knockaert, who opened the scoring, and the Albion boss highlighted the importance of always being ready to step into the team.

“[Jugen] Locadia is the biggest example. When he came in, because of the way he trained, he hit the ground running, and it’s been a good period for him. Anthony is no different.

“I wouldn’t expect Anthony to be at his happiest. I wouldn’t expect [Beram] Kayal to be at his happiest, or [Gaetan] Bong or Bruno — if you’ve got players that are happy to not be playing, then they lose that competitive edge.

“We might be looking at a situation where somebody is out injured and then the next thing you know, that player is playing.

“It might not be because of form, it might be because of any injury, but that player needs to be on top of their game.”

The Seagulls will discover their fourth-round opponents in tonight’s Emirates FA Cup draw, and Hughton spoke honestly about his wishes for the next stage of the competition.

“It’s a very important competition to me and the club. I’d like a home draw against a team not in the Premier League.

“That’s not being disrespectful to anybody, because we’ve all been involved in games that should have been far more comfortable on paper and it’s ended up not being the case.

“Even though the modern trend is to change things around a little bit, we’re in a position where any players that do come into the team are players that have played quite regularly at some stage.”

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