Date: 2nd May 2016 at 12:44am
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Manager Chris Hughton has held his pre Derby County press conference, and he knows it’s a vital game for Brighton in their automatic promotion hopes.

Hosting Darren Wassall’s side at the Amex Stadium for the game, Brighton have more to play for as Derby have secured their Play Off spot, but we still have hopes of automatic promotion to the Premier League and even the Championship title.

With Middlesbrough drawing with Birmingham on Friday evening, it’s certainly all to play for – with Middlesbrough themselves next up for us.

Speaking to the Official Site, Hughton covered the normal team news topic, the opposition and also Young Player of the Year Connor Goldson.

‘Everyone is fit apart from the lads that haven`t played in the last few games, Bobby Zamora (Hip), Uwe Huenemeier (Groin) and of course Solly March (Knee).’

Moving to the game itself he went on to say how important the fans would again be across the 90 minutes.

‘The support has been amazing all season, home and away, with great enthusiasm in the local area. We will need them massively for the last two games. The supporters wouldn`t have expected us to be in this position we are in now at the beginning of the season. It`s very exciting and the fans are very much feeling it too. We are conscious as a team that we can`t expect to turn up and the fans to start singing, we have to give them something to shout about. Any fan base that sees their team trying will get behind them and turn the volume up, and that`s certainly what we want.’

As for Derby themselves, whilst they have the Play Off spot sown up, Hughton is expecting a very tough game, because whilst they have nothing to play for – they will want momentum going into the season extension and the Semi Finals.

‘It will be a very tough game. Derby are in good form and have one of the best squads in this division, that in itself makes it a tough game. They are very professional and they will want to win every game, despite already guaranteeing a play-off place. They are on a good run and they will want to take that into the play-offs. Their approach on the game won’t be effected by their current position. Darren Wassall has done the job the board wanted him to do, which is get results and get them into a promotion position. He has a good team at his disposal and Will Hughes, who is one of the brightest young talents in the country, is now back from injury. We don`t know what to expect. All we can do is work hard enough to win a football match, no one knows how it will pan out, whether it will be an open or tight game. Fortunately for us, our form has been good too and we have scored a lot more goals than we expected in recent games. I don`t mind how we win the game just as long as we win it.’

As for our Young Player of the Year, Hughton said about Goldson that given his form, had he been playing at the start of the season rather than having to be patient for his chance, he feels he’d have been up for Player of the Year as well.

‘I`m sure Connor Goldson would have been a contender for Player of the Year if he had started playing at the beginning of the season. There were a lot of candidates for the award so he would have been in good company. Connor certainly deserved the award and he came in after our captain was injured and has stayed ever since. His level of performance has been very high and he has deserved his place in the team, whilst forming a great partnership with Lewis Dunk.’

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