Date: 10th August 2016 at 10:19pm
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Manager Chris Hughton has spoken of his pleasure at seeing the performances of the three youngsters he had on display in Tuesday evening’s League Cup victory over Colchester United.

Hosting the side at the Amex Stadium for the game, Brighton were looking to avoid a potential bananaskin and with a solid four nil victory on the evening – with goals coming from Baldock, a Murphy brace and a late Manu strike – the bananaskin was easily avoided.

With three Under 23 players making their debut in the game – defenders Rob Hunt, Ben White and Sam Adekugbe – Hughton told the Official Site in his post game press conference that he felt all three had seized the opportunity he had handed them.

‘The front six were all first-team, experienced players, so they were always going to play. The question was what we were going to do at the back? I chose to go with Rohan Ince, even though it`s not his best position, but he was the most experienced one out of the back four. I also chose to go with three lads who have been doing really well in the under-23s, with Ben White, Rob Hunt and Sam Adekugbe, who joined us in the summer. I think the contribution from all of them was excellent.’

He added.

‘He`s a young one (White), he started pre-season last season with us, but picked up an injury in the friendly against Crawley, which kept him out for a little while. He`s a talent and he`s very much been in the mix of the first team this pre-season. They waited for their opportunity and that`s why you want an under-23 group that are pushing hard, lads just like Ben White. You can`t tell if they`re ready until they get that opportunity. They can show everything on the training pitch, and you can get a nice feel for the player, but there are always going to be exceptions. You can get a young player who stands out that much, and you know they`re ready for the first team. But for the majority of them, it`s all about waiting to get that opportunity.’

With Baldock getting off the mark for the season, that was another source of pleasure for the gaffer, and he went on to add.

‘I thought we had really good control of the game, but we had to get that first goal, and I knew if we did get that goal, the game would open up more. Did I anticipate we`d get another three on top of that? Probably not. But certainly on the balance of play, we deserved to get those goals and had more opportunities. The first goal was typical Sam; he brings an energy to the team and he gave us a lot of that last season. He can score goals. He did really well for us last season, but yes, I think he would`ve liked to have contributed with more goals. But sometimes when you`re playing a different role for the team, that takes away some of those possibilities. I think with the way Sam played for us last season, it does take away some of the areas that he might get into playing in a different system.’

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