Chris Hughton admits he has hard decisions to make about team selection
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Chris Hughton admits he has hard decisions to make about team selection

The Brighton manager says he has plenty of decisions to make regarding his sides' FA Cup third tie away to Bournemouth on Saturday.

Adam Stenning

Brighton manager Chris Hughton has plenty of decisions to make ahead of his sides trip to Bournemouth on Saturday in the FA Cup third round: “I’ve got a lot of decisions to make and I must admit that when you get that Tuesday midweek game you have an extra day to assess your options.

"To be honest I haven't really had much time to think about all my options yet. It certainly is a game we want to win, we know the difficulty of the levels because we have experienced it there and have not had too much fortune playing there.

"The performance levels in the games has been good, the last game I thought was a game of two halves where I thought we were probably the better side in that first half and then in the second it was a close game.

"This is a cup competition that we both want to go through in, so as regards to the team I have a lot of decisions to make, but the good thing is apart from Bernardo, the two we are aware in Jahanbakhsh and Izquierdo, we have everyone else to pick from."

Hughton: Steele will make his debut

Hughton did however confirm that Jason Steele will start in goal to make his debut almost seven months after signing for The Seagulls: “Yes that’s why we brought both keepers in the summer, we wanted that level of competition in the goalkeeping group and both of them have pushed Matthew Ryan to the level he’s is at now.

"David Button will be delighted with his appearances so far and Jason starts on Saturday and is one also that has pushed hard. “

The Brighton boss is looking forward to the FA Cup tie, after his side reached the quarter-finals last season and were knocked out by finalists, Manchester United: “I'm really looking forward to it and as much as the pressure and the will of wanting to win the game is the same, you know it is a bit of rest-bite from our league campaign.

"So I think that doesn’t take the edge off it, but it is exciting and there is not anybody even our supporters at the club that wouldn’t like to see us have a cup run.

"But we've been drawn with a tough draw, if you look at the possibilities and determining the options you could have is to pull a Premier League club away from home, so that has been tough on us.

"But every game is an opportunity. Our away form I’d like to think has been better, which gives us a chance and you still can’t take away the excitement of going through and being in the hat for the next round."

Hughton finished off the press conference by speaking about how pleased is that the squad is sharing the load goals-wise and what that does for the team.

”I think there is two ways of looking at it. Ultimately it's about scoring enough goals to win games,” Hughton said.

"At the start of the season if you had told me we would win so many games and there would only be three major goalscorers, you would settle for that.

"Sharing the load among the team gives that feeling within the team and a pressure in the team.

"So Dale Stephens that scored last night, his first of the season the challenge for him is to make sure that is not the only one. So that what is does create.

"I’m really pleased for our centre halves, they have worked long and hard at getting in the oppositions box and being a threat from set pieces, but it does give you that nice feel around the squad that they are all contributing so I certainly would always rather have it that way.”