Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton met the media on Thursday afternoon ahead of the trip to Stoke City on Saturday. The Seagulls are currently in 13th place in the latest Premier League table, three points clear of the relegation zone.
Seagulls manager feels Potters will be "a difficult game"
Despite their place in the table, which sees Stoke currently in 18th place, Hughton isn't taking anything for granted, stating that “It will be a difficult game" and he hopes to show some of the qualities that we showed in our last away game against Southampton."
He thinks Brighton are currently "in good form and we’ll need to show that" while assessing Stoke's loss last week to AFC Bournemouth, saying "I thought they [Stoke City] were unlucky to lose against AFC Bournemouth last weekend.
“From what we’ve seen they’re playing at a high tempo and looking to push players forward from midfield.”
Hughton complimentary of his opposite number
Speaking on Stoke manager Paul Lambert, the Brighton boss feels “The managerial change has given them a lift and they’ll look to create an atmosphere at home – it can be a tough place to go and we’ll have to deal with that.”
“What I know of Paul is that he did an outstanding job at Norwich City and he likes to play on the front foot.
“He likes to play a very attacking style of play and he’s very experienced – he can set up teams against any opposition but it’s generally entertaining – that’s what all supporters want to see."
Hughton also feels that he can only get his side ready from what he has seen and knows the home team have several ways to play.
“You can only prepare on what we’ve seen and they’ve got a lot of options in the squad to vary their style and you must not over prepare for one more than any other.”
Boss speaks of Brighton's good form
Hughton felt the 3-1 victory over West Ham United was "what I would class as our best home attacking performance last weekend."
He feels "that can give us a lift and we’ve got a lot of players who are fit and available, so there’s good competition and there’s a good mood around the place."
He knows “You have to be able to maintain that level of performance every week in this division because it’s so tight and competitive.
“There’s a big group of teams and those who hold their nerve and show they can win games will get themselves out of it – so you have to put yourself in a good position to be able to do that.”
Hughton on new faces
Speaking on January signings Leonardo Ulloa and Jurgen Locadia, the gaffer said “I’ve seen the impact the two new arrivals have given to the club off the field and everyone in the squad wants exactly the same thing.
“When you bring players in you know that it will make it tougher for some more than others, but generally the whole squad want the best one possible and the better squad we have the better chance we have of staying in this division.
“These two have come in because they want to play and if you have a squad that’s pushing to do that then you hope you can get the best out of them.
“Jurgen [Locadia] will be in the squad for Saturday – he’s had a good week and a half of training going into the game.”