Brighton v Tottenham: What did Chris Hughton say in his pre-match press conference?

Chris Hughton. Picture by PW Sporting Photography
Chris Hughton. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

Brighton manager Chris Hughton spoke to the press this afternoon ahead of Saturday's home match with Tottenham.

Here's what was said at the club's training ground in Lancing...

News this week, there's been a link with the club and the FA's Dan Ashworth. Can you clear up that situation?

"It's common knowledge the club have advertised for a technical director but certainly it's not my responsibility to speak about any individual names.

"I'm sure once the club have determined who it will be, the information will come out."

What does it say about the club that you've been linked with someone so high profile, who has been a key member of transforming the FA and the England set-up?

"Again, it's not my responsibility to speak about any individuals but for where the club has been and where the club are at this moment, particularly with our academy doing well, our under-23s doing ever so well, our ladies' team playing in the top division, there is more work to do at this football club.

"It speaks volumes about the progess the club has made in a short period of time and of course they want to maintain that progress."

It's been a tough last four games, with no wins, but you've come back from 2-0 down in the last two. What does that say about the character in the squad?

"It shows great character, I was more disappointed with the first half performance at Southampton than I was against Fulham.

"We went behind against Fulham but I thought our level of performance was okay, where I didn't feel it was at Southampton in that first half.

"But to come back on two occasions is not something you want to happen too regualrly and generally if you go two behind in a Premier League game, it's very difficult to come back from that, certainly for a club the level of ours.

"It shows great determination from a group of players and great desire to make sure we don't lose a football match."

Five games in and five points; four points from five this time last season. Do you feel you're in a better place as a club to attack the second season in the Premier League?

"At the moment, the numbers as regards the points we have, say that.

"Very disappointed with our first performance, we have two very big games coming up as regards the level of team we're playing against.

"Probably the pleasing aspect were the two games we played against Manchester United and Liverpool, where the level of performance in both those games were good.

"Overall, I've been relatively pleased with our start so far but we have a massive game on Saturday and a massively difficult game.

"I don't think we can afford to go into any of these games with any less desire than what we showed in the last few games."

Is it a good time to play Tottenham?

"As manager of a club playing against them, my responsibility is to warn the team that these are a team who don't lose many games.

"By their standards they're having a more difficult time and that's the time perhaps when they could be at their most dangerous.

"They've got great quality, we know we'll have to play at a really good level to get something from the game. But when you're up against that type of quality, in the work you do it's about how we can win a game and exploit any weaknesses.

"But it's also very normal that you have to make sure our team are aware of all qualities they've got and how they can hurt us if we're not performing well enough."

Spurs have lost three back-to-back for the first time under Pochettino. What do you think of the situation?

"What I see at Tottenham at the moment are the normal things which happen in football.

"There are different levels, the expectations of managing a team in the top six are different to anyone else.

"Yes, they win more games than the rest of us but the expectations are higher. When any team in the top six goes through a period,whether that's a couple of games or they lose a Champions League game or so, then they're going to be in the spotlight more than what we are here at Brighton.

"What they're going through, it's normal. What generally happens because of the quality they've got is they come out of that one and it's probably in a few weeks or a month's time, it's somebody else's turn.

"We never read too much into it. They have got top quality players and on any day, they can turn it on."

Where does Pochettino rank among Tottenham's greatest managers?

"He is a top manager and what we also have to remember is and it's very unusual, Tottenham had nine players involved in the latter stages of the World Cup.

"The only reason they have that amount of players there is because of the quality they've got and the performances they show at club level.

"That's through developement, the players they bring in and the person at the head of that is the manager. He's done an outstanding job there and I think they will continue to strive."

What's the team news?

"The only one still out is Pascal, so we'll be missing him.

"The good news is players have trained. Andone has played 45 minutes and Izquierdo is training. No other injuries apart from Pascal."

What can we expect from Brighton on Saturday?

"What I would like is a performance which gives us a chance of getting a result.

"For that to happen, we have to come close to our performances at home here against United and possibly away to Liverpool because of the level we're up against.

"The fact we're at home, I'm hoping we can use that and use any aspects of that we can. But it's a game also, we have to be guarded against.

"They are top quality but I just hope we can play at a good enough level which allows us a chance of getting something."

Have you deserved more points this season?

"Probably not. If I look at our performances, there's a level of performance I've been relatively happy with but we've conceded a few goals which at times is unlike us.

"We've had a great reaction. I thought some of our attacking play second half against Southampton was very good and of course we were really good against United.

"Where we are at this moment is probably a fair amount of points for our performances."

Are Andone and Izquierdo ready to start?

"They're decisions we'll have to make.

"As regards starting, that would be a big call. Neither of them have played any minutes for the first team, apart from friendly games.

"They are both in good shape at the moment. As regards any involvement in the squad, that will be a decision that I will make."

Is it a blow to lose Pascal?

"He's a particular type of player.

"We have players who can play in that role but it will always be a little bit different because of the type of player he is.

"There certainly isn't anyone here who can run the distances and cover the ground he does.

"But you always have to look at Pascal being out as an opportunity for somebody else.

"It has allowed us to have Yves Bissouma in the side and it's an opportunity for him and if it's not him, it's an opportunity for somebody else."

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