Date: 4th August 2015 at 5:18pm
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Manager Chris Hughton has said he’s already very confident that he knows what our starting line up will be for the Championship opener against Nottingham Forest on Friday.

With the hard work of pre season now behind us following the closer against Sevilla, it’s all eyes to the first real game of the 2015-16 year and Hughton told the Official Site that he was already pretty sure who would take to the pitch in front of the cameras later this week.

‘I think I have my starting eleven in my mind, but you always want decisions to make and you always want players to push you. I want players who are going to make my decisions tough ones. We have so much football to be played in that first three weeks of the season and it is about the team that can cope with that the best, and our preparation has been good.’

Despite his confidence and positivity, Hughton goes on to admit that at this time of the season you never know where you actually stand in comparison to other teams as obviously everyone has been working hard over their pre season campaigns so he couldn’t say with any certainty whether we are ahead or behind of Forest at this stage and that just makes the opening few games even more exciting because things then fall into place.

‘You never know exactly where you are at this stage. This is such a tough league. If I look at where we are now does this put us anywhere ahead of Nottingham Forest? I don`t think it puts us ahead or behind of any other team in this division. We have all had the same preparation time and it is about on the day and trying to get a result whichever way that you can. Whether some teams are that little bit fitter than others will be down to the type of individual players that they have got. I think it has been a decent pre-season – could we have done any more? I think probably not.’

Ultimately it boils down to fine tuning in training this week, taking all the confidence we can from the Sevilla victory and then with results not being the be all or end all of pre season, making sure we hit the ground running and do all we can, and give all we can, to get that opening day three points that are on offer.

In other brief news, the club have also confirmed that Jeffrey Monakana has headed out for a one month loan spell with Bristol Rovers.

With the youngster not having made his first team debut yet, last season he suffered a knee injury that he has now returned from so the loan should hopefully build on his experience with Crawley, Aberdeen, Mansfield and Carlisle since he moved to us – but also polish off his full return to fitness from that injury.

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