Date: 31st December 2015 at 6:09pm
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Manager Chris Hughton has previewed the New Year’s Day game against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Hosting Kenny Jackett’s side in the first game of 2016, Hughton gave his normal team news up date and also spoke of his hopes for a winning start to the second half of the season following the couple of recent defeats.

Speaking to the Official Site in his pre game press conference, the gaffer talked injuries to begin with.

‘James Wilson is okay to play. He’s struggled in the last couple of games but that’s more through illness. We’ve been delighted with what he’s given us so far and it’s good that he’s available. At this minute, Sam Baldock and Kazenga LuaLua are very close, so following this period which we’ve gone through, which is a difficult period with injuries, it will be good to get them back.’

With on loan Wolves midfielder Rajiv van La Parra being ineligible for the game against his parent club, Hughton praised the form he had been in and said obviously he would be a miss but we knew this would be the case when we brought him in.

His loan does also expire this weekend.

‘It’s disappointing for the lad, but that’s something we knew and we’re very grateful to get his services from Wolves. He’s done very well for us if I look at his participation in the games. When you take somebody on loan, you’re never quite sure how much football they’ll get or whether they’ll go straight into the team and be very much part of a squad. But certainly he’s one that’s come in and has been very, very involved. At this minute, his loan will finish after the weekend and I think we’ll have some dialogue with Wolves but, at this moment, he’ll go back.’

As for the recent signing of Liam Ridgewell on loan for cover at the back, Hughton was obviously asked for his thoughts on the player.

‘The important thing for us is that we need to make sure we’ve got cover, particularly in the defensive area and in the left-back area, where we’ve lost a natural left-back in Gaetan Bong, and Liam Rosenior, who covered in that position so well. In their place we’ve got Inigo Calderon, who’s done a great job and is very much a utility player. Certainly we needed strengthening in that position with the number of games that we’ve got. It is a short-term loan where we’re hoping by the time we get through this period that Gaetan will be fully fit and up and running. He brings experience, he’s a player that is certainly in good form at the moment on the back of a very successful season in the MLS. He knows the division very well and I know him from my time at Birmingham, so he’ll be an experienced campaigner and of course, more importantly, a very good player.’

With a difficult December by our own season standards so far, Hughton went on to add.

‘By our standards this season, it’s a very difficult period for us. But the good thing about this division is you’ve very quickly got another opportunity to change that. We’ll look forward to an exciting game tomorrow and it’s a home game. We’ve still lost only two games this season and we still haven’t lost away from home. There are certainly more positives than there are negatives.’

Today itself also sees 12 months in the job for the gaffer so it is his one year anniversary and hopefully the next 12 months will be very similar!

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