Date: 17th July 2015 at 7:28pm
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Manager Chris Hughton has said there were plenty of positives following our narrow one nil loss to Southampton in the behind closed doors friendly.

With Southampton’s side at their Staplewood Complex featuring a number of first team regulars such as as Jay Rodriguez, Jose Fonte, Graziani Pelle and Victor Wanyama – running the game as close as we did and with it looking all day like a nil nil it was a shame to see them get the winner late on as they did in the final minute of the game.

Speaking to the Official Site following the game, Hughton wasn’t going to let the result affect how proud he was of the side on the day.

‘I`m delighted overall as there were far more good points than bad. It a shame that the game ended in the way it did because I thought it was a fairly even contest and I thought we matched them in most departments. Both teams kept possession of the ball very well; and it was certainly a big step up against a strong Southampton team for 60 minutes of the game.’

Hughton went on to say that making changes around half time, we then obviously had a fair few youngsters out on show but in his mind they all acquitted themselves very well indeed in the second period.

‘I was really pleased with Tom Dallison, who had his first exercise with the first-team group. Rob Hunt did very well at right back, Jesse Starkey was with us again after being involved in the pre-season camp and Glen Rea acquitted himself well against Graziano Pelle upfront – who`s a very strong individual and he had to be very resilient.’

With Saturday’s game against Lewes now next up, he went on to say that there would again be a mix in the side so it won’t be a full strength first eleven on show.

‘It`s all about getting the minutes that these players need over the next few games. It`s good to be playing a local game and it gives our supporters an opportunity to see the youngsters play and view the first-teamers on show.’

Moving on more specifically to that game he went on to explain that the plan would be to give some an hour run out now as we step up fitness work further and he gave the line up out – unless things change.

‘It’s important now to up the players’ playing time, and we will begin to give them 60 to 65 minutes, so we will split the squad over the next two games at Lewes and Crawley, to ensure each of the players get that next stage of match fitness. I’ve been really pleased with what we have done so far, and everyone has had at least one half of football, except Andrew Crofts and Gordon Greer, and nearly all of the players have had two 45-minute halves.’

He went on to say that he wasn’t concerned about Crofts or Greer at this stage in terms of their match minutes because they are doing other things and he knows it won’t be long before they are both back playing games.

‘It won’t be too long before both of them are back playing games – and I expect them to be fit for the start of the season.’

Albion expected line-up:

Maenpaa, Rosenior, Dallison, White, Chicksen; Calderon, Holla, Ince, Starkey, O’Grady, Colunga.

Subs:

Ankergren (GK), Hunt, Barnett, Barclay, Harris, Tilley, Monakana, Ward, Akindayini, Kandi.

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