Date: 20th July 2016 at 5:48pm
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Manager Chris Hughton has said that Brighton need to learn quickly from the lessons we were taught by Fulham in yesterday evening’s friendly.

Travelling to Craven Cottage for our second friendly of the pre season campaign, Brighton went down three nil on the day and Hughton knew improvement would be required ahead of the weekend’s double header against Luton and Stevenage on Saturday.

Brighton first half:

Maenpaa, Hunt, Dunk, White, Rosenior, Murphy, Holla, Sidwell, LuaLua, Murray, Baldock.

Brighton second half:

Maenpaa (Sanchez 72), Bruno, Hall, White (Tyler-Forbes 72), Bong, Knockaert, Ince, Kayal, Holla (Bjordal 62), Hemed, Murphy (Tilley 62).

Speaking to the Official Site following the full time whistle, Hughton was obviously disappointed with how the game went but ironing things like that out are what pre season is for.

‘If you`re not at your best or anywhere near your best, then you will get beaten. I thought we were very good at Crawley and went about our business the right way against that level. Our preparation was very good, and it was for this game as well, but I thought Fulham were the better team over the 90 minutes. We played some of the younger lads, but I don`t want to look at any excuses; they were better than us, more clinical and we never made the most of our opportunities in the final third and never made the keeper work enough. It`s a good time to play this game, the best opposition we have played against in pre-season so far, and we`ll certainly go through it, learn the lessons – and we have to be better in the next games. We will learn more from losing a game like this today compared to a good victory.’

Hughton did have praise for the performance of goalkeeper Niki Maenpaa, as the Finland international played his second successive friendly.

‘It was a difficult one for him today and I didn`t think he could do too much with the goals he conceded, but he`s been good for us pre-season, as he was all last season. These games are an opportunity for him and he`s no different to any player who`s not playing – they want to push to try and play.’

With the double header up next weekend, Hughton also said he was hopeful that Dale Stephens would return for those matches following the knock he suffered to his knee, and Jiri Skalak should be back in contention following his involvement with Czech Republic at the European Championships.

However the games will come too soon for David Sockdale and Connor Goldson who continue to recover from foot and knee injuries respectively.

Solly March is expected back somepoint in September.

‘Dale will be available for Saturday`s games after he took a whack on his knee at Crawley. We decided he would benefit from resting for a couple of days as opposed to playing tonight and making it worse. David trained this week and is close, but it’s probably too soon for Saturday, as it is for Connor. Jiri will probably be involved, and he is training now. That`s a plus for us. He hasn`t lost too much fitness and it`ll be good to have him back. We`re looking at Solly returning after the first international break in September. The good news is he`s had no setbacks and he`s making really good progress. We look forward to having him back as soon as possible.’

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