Date: 5th August 2016 at 5:31pm
Written by:

Manager Chris Hughton has now held his pre game press conference ahead of the Championship kick off against Derby County this weekend.

With a new manager at their helm, and with Derby again pushing for promotion last season, Hughton knows it’ll be a tough opener at the iPro Stadium this weekend, but it’s a test he’s looking forward to.

Speaking to the Official Site he opened by discussing new signing Oliver Norwood.

‘For a young man, he certainly brings some experience. I think he played close to every game for Reading last season and is somebody that knows the division very well. He went away to the Euros in the summer, he`s a very good passer of the ball and he`s somebody we`ve aware of for quite some time. He`s a really good addition for us.’

Hughton also said that he didn’t believe fitnes would be an issue given his extended break this summer following the European Championships as from what he’s seen so far, he’s in good shape.

‘In regards to his fitness and ability to be able to fit in, I don`t think that`s an issue. He had such a good season at Reading, who play in a fairly similar way to ourselves, so I think settling in will be absolutely no problem for him.’

With Aston Villa, Newcastle United and Norwich City joining us in the Championship this season, he was also asked about parachute payments – and of course that came into play for us as Norwich hijacked the Alex Pritchard deal.

‘What we`ve seen already is the weight of the bigger clubs that have come down with parachute payments. When you see some of the transfers already, it shows the lack of balance across the Championship. We won`t be the only team affected, I think it`s going to be difficult for lots of teams in this division, but we have to make sure we keep hold of our best players and are able to challenge.’

As for general transfer activity this summer, compared to last year, he confirmed we weren’t looking to make a mass of additions this year, it’s about tweaking on what we already have.

‘Last summer we brought in nine players, so taking that into consideration, we started last season very well. If I`m looking at what we have at the moment, we are not looking to bring in as many players. We also bought very well in January, with Jiri Skalak and Anthony Knockaert, so there`s a far better core here now than there was last summer. We haven`t felt desperate to sign players in any position, all we`ve wanted to do is improve the squad in the best way that we can, but we certainly haven`t had to strengthen as much as we did 12 months ago.’

Moving on to Derby more specifically and their new manager Nigel Pearson, he added.

‘He`s a very good manager. I think most people do appreciate the job he did at Leicester, they had a magnificent season just gone, which possibly won`t be done again, but what may be harder to replicate is the excellent run of nine games that Nigel managed the season before. I think he`ll change the way Derby play, certainly in the formation, where he generally plays a 4-4-2, but they`ve got very good players and it will be his job to get the best out of them.’

Brighton also confirmed that we would be wearing the ‘volt’ shorts with the black shirt for the game owing to a clash with Derby’s shorts for the match.

Kit manager Clive Thompson explained.

‘The away kit for this season is black with a volt stripe. Last season it was volt with a black stripe and that`s what makes it interchangeable. When we play teams like Derby or Fulham, who wear black shorts with their white shirts, it allows us to interchange the away kit with volt shorts and volt socks. This season, referees are very strict on both teams having the same colours and that`s why we have this emergency change.’

Brighton Bloggers

Join The Vital Debate