Date: 12th May 2016 at 6:37pm
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Manager Chris Hughton has now held his pre Sheffield Wednesday press conference, and here are the main bits from his meet with the media.

Making the trip to Hillsborough for the first leg of the Championship Play Off semi final tie against Wednesday on Friday evening, Brighton are without Dale Stephens following his ridiculous sending off against Middlesbrough and the even more stupid decision to not overturn it on appeal.

Speaking to the Official Site ahead of the game, it was a decision that still irked the gaffer.

‘Having Dale out is a big blow but what I have to be able to do is concentrate on the fact that we have really good competition in the squad. We have had periods this season where we have missed big players through injury, that`s part and parcel of the game, and you have to adjust. When a player misses a game, someone else gets a chance and generally for us this season, that player has done well with their opportunity. As for Bobby Zamora, he won`t be involved in either of the two legs and I am just looking at those two games for now.’

With Wednesday securing the sixth placed spot in the Championship, Hughton knows they’ll be up for the game and Brighton will have to respect the threats they carry and ensure our threats come through over both legs.

‘When you go into the play-offs, there aren`t any favourites. There are four teams that all have qualities, otherwise they wouldn`t be there in the first place. It`s a very tough call between all four teams; that shows with the two results we`ve had against them this season. They are a very good side, they have goals in them and they know how to win a football match. I know some of their players very well so I expect it to be a tight affair, as you would expect in all play-off games. We know their dangers and that we can`t treat them lightly.’

Of course Middlesbrough disappointment and missing out on the automatic promotion spots figured.

‘The disappointment they showed on Saturday at Middlesbrough highlights how close we have come to automatic-promotion. They are a very motivated squad and I would rather have seen a distraught changing room than anything different and that`s because you can see what it means to them. We didn`t come away from the game with a loss and there were a lot of other positives the players gained. They were distraught but I think that`s something they will use to their benefit. We now have to approach the Sheffield game the same as every other game this season. You have to have a similar approach to every game, it shouldn`t make it any different just because it`s a play-off game. Once you start doing things differently, it can knock you out of your rhythm. Our approach has been the same this week and we look to get the same response.’

He ended by saying that having shown our strengths all season long, the players just had to focus on repeating that and meeting their own levels again.

‘We need to show the abilities we have shown all season. We have been good and resilient away from home and fortunately for us in the second-half of the season, we have found other ways of winning games and we are also scoring more goals than we did earlier in the season. We certainly have good momentum too, there is no doubt about that and I`m glad we`re going into these games on the back of positive results. We scored a last minute equaliser against Derby and that gave us a lift even though we didn`t win, we came away from that match on a bit of a high. We then finished the next game at Middlesbrough with ten-men, we got back into the game and gave it a real go; that speaks volumes for the squad we have. We need to take that type of spirit into the next games two games.’

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