Brighton & Hove Albion v Liverpool: The key points from Chris Hughton's pre-match press conference

Chris Hughton. Picture by PW Sporting Photography
Chris Hughton. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

Brighton manager Chris Hughton spoke to the press this afternoon ahead of Saturday's match with Premier League leaders Liverpool.

Here are the key points from his pre-match press conference.

Injury news

"Bernardo will miss the game. Apart from Jahanbakhsh and Izquierdo, there's no other fresh injuries."

Izquierdo injury

"It's not long term. It's the type of injury where we've got two ways of dealing with it.

"We could push him a little bit harder than we are at the moment to get him ready but we're delighted with his progress.

"The decision we've made is to take it a little bit slower to make sure we have no problems with it but he's coming along nicely.

"He'll miss the weekend and we'll try to get him back as quick as possible."

Albion's performance at Anfield in 1-0 defeat earlier this season

"It was a really pleasing performance early in the season and we found it very difficult on the road last season.

"It was a performance which didn't get us a result but we were very close to it. We will definitely have to be somewhere close to that to even think about getting something on Saturday."

How do you set up against Liverpool?

"You have to have a defensive strategy, I don't think there's any team that plays against them that can afford to go into a game without that, even Manchester City.

"Manchester City would have to be mindful of the qualities Liverpool have.

"You also have to have a strategy to get out, to keep hold of the ball and determine the best way to win the game.

"We are going to have to have periods of the ball, that goes without saying. The longer and more often they have the ball, what they have showed is they will break you down with the quality they have.

"Certainly a defensive strategy is needed but we have to make sure we give them a game."

Will Brighton's home form make it difficult for Liverpool?

"If they think that, that's respect to the club and players and the job they are doing.

"A Liverpool team coming here and playing at their best, it's incredibly difficult to do anything about.

"It goes without saying a good day for us would have to be us playing somewhere near our best or playing very well and a Liverpool team not playing so well.

"We are in decent form, we are at home and we have to take any of the advantages we can."

Will Liverpool win the league?

"At this moment, I think they are favourites simply because of the points difference and they've been outstanding.

"If we're talking about the teams that are going to challenge the most, I don't think I'm speaking out of term if we speak about Manchester City and Liverpool.

"But you certainly can't write off a Manchester City team that have been the best team over the last few seasons and have arguably played the best football.

"Liverpool are the favourites but I couldn't tell you who will win it and I certainly wouldn't put money on it."

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp

"He's been outstanding for the game here.

"When you look at the top teams, we've experienced it at home and away, they are the top teams because they have the best players but also when you see how they work.

"There's players you possibly wouldn't have seen as hard working players out of possession but when you see how their team work without the ball to get it back and the quality they show, it's orchestrated by the manager and the demands of the manager.

"This season shows what a great he has done.

"He has made good decisions this season. Van Dijk could arguably be the signing of the season, the goalkeeper that has come in is outstanding and they are better prepared than any other time with the quality they have got.

"But it is all led by Jurgen Klopp and they are a great team to watch."

Brighton are 13th at the moment, would you be happy if that's where you finish?

"We'd be delighted with that. Our aim is still about stability at this club and trying to make progress.

"13th at the end of the season would be progress from last season, there's no doubt about that.

"We still have to be realistic about where we are as a club and continue to try to develop and grow."

Beaten Manchester United and Arsenal at the Amex in the last two seasons, is Liverpool another step up?

"Yes it is. You are looking at the best teams and at this moment, Liverpool are the best team in this league and their league position says that.

"I thought we did really well up at Anfield this season but we can also remember the game here last season when they were outstanding on the break and we found it difficult to cope with them.

"It's a great challenge but anything we can get would show how we have come over this period of time."

Liverpool have three defenders out, does that weaken them in any way?

"I don't think it does because of the quality they have got.

"As with every club, you have your recognised players in that position and those that you see as your first choices and second choices generally.

"With the game they play, they are very much a possession-based team and have great counter-attacking strength and pace. They would probably see themselves as having the bulk of possession.

"They have maneuvered players from one position into another and have done an equally good job."

Former Albion coach Nathan Jones getting the Stoke manager's job

"The difficulty I have is in the period of time he was here, he was a coach.

"When you look at coaches who you think have potential or good potential to be managers, then Nathan was certainly right up there.

"He has great enthusiasm.

"He's had great experience in the roles he has done before.

"He has a really good knowledge of the game and all you can hope when a coach goes into a managerial position is that he's successful.

"If you look at what he's done at Luton, you'd have to deem that as very, very successful, hence why he's got the (Stoke) job.

"Everybody here wishes him the best because he served this club very well."

Is he the right fit for Stoke?

"They're the questions I can't answer.

"What I can answer or suggest is the reason why he's got the job and that's because of the outstanding job he's done at Luton.

"He's very passionate about the game and has great enthusiasm but those two qualities don't necessarily get you on in the game.

"It's about putting a team together, it's about making sure you know how to get results at home and away, the difficulties, and also all the other aspects which are the difference between what you do in a coaching role and the decisions you have to make in a managerial role.

"He's obviously done that well enough at Luton for him to be put up for the job.

"Everybody here wishes him all the best."


"I don't think we're going to get a perfect VAR.

"Still before the decision is made you've got players surrounding the referee and what you will have, as we progress with it, is players demanding decisions go to VAR.

"I think what the game wants to see is, of course, getting the right decisions but cutting down the time as quick as possible.

"We've seen a couple of incidents, one which was a penalty just about to be taken which was dragged back for a offside and that type of delay nobody wants to see.

"The delay we saw in the Tottenham v Chelsea game was one that most people felt was probably a right decision but can you cut down the time elements in that one?

"I don't think you're going to get a perfect VAR. What you are going to get is more right decisions and you're going to get decisions that are overturned, which will upset managers and teams on the day when it goes against them and it will delight managers and teams when it goes for them.

"It's mostly the time element which needs to improve."


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