Brighton & Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton has praised the impact of his substitutes in the last two games.
Albion brought experienced trio Andrew Crofts, Bobby Zamora and Inigo Calderon off the bench against Bristol City on Tuesday, with Zamora netting the winner, for the second successive match.
Zamora also came on to score the winner at Leeds and Hughton said: “You want subs to have an impact in games. I know Calde only came on for a very short period of time but I think we’ve had that in the last couple of games.
“Certainly Bobby has had a great impact in the last two games. With Crofty, in both games, we felt we just needed to have a little bit of a different dynamic in the midfield and he’s given us that.
“If you’re not playing regularly, these lads are going to be judged on what we see, so they need to make sure they are training hard enough, so that when they get that opportunity, they can make that impact.”
The unbeaten Seagulls sit top of the Championship, with eight wins and four draws from their 12 games so far and Hughton said: “When you’re picking your team, you want to be tested and you want to be challenged by the team you pick because you want people pushing.
“On a lot of occasions, it’s just as hard to pick the subs, particularly if you don’t have too many injuries, as it is to pick the team.
“Numbers wise, we’re quite a tight group. Where we have been fortunate is we haven’t had a period of time of injury. We certainly haven’t had wholesale injury problems, that always helps.
“It’s really kept concentration levels high and competition for places really good and morale in the group. The training levels are good and even the ones who haven’t had the football they would have liked are training very well.”
Hughton also praised full-back Liam Rosenior for the role he has played on the right wing, with Jamie Murphy suspended and Kazenga LuaLua injured.
He said: “Liam has done great for us. When I brought him in, I knew that he was versatile in the way that he played.
“I knew that he could perform well a little bit higher up the park but I think he’s been a real big bonus for us. What he can give us is that he is someone who is a natural defender but he has shown great athleticism getting forward and getting into crossing positions.”
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