Chris Hughton on why Dale Stephens was a late withdrawal from Watford match

Dale Stephens. Picture by PW Sporting Photography
Dale Stephens. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton revealed midfielder Dale Stephens was a late withdrawal from the squad today owing to a hip injury.

Stephens was initially named in the starting line-up, before being replaced by Yves Bissouma shortly before kick-off.

Hughton explained: "He felt his hip on Thursday. He trained yesterday and got through the training so I thought he was going to be okay.

"He got up this morning and he said it was a lot sorer. We had the warning this morning but he came in and tried and we still thought that he would be okay to get through but in the warm-up it was obvious that it wasn't.

"He wasn't far away but to compete at the level we would've needed him to compete at he wasn't quite up to that level."

Davy Propper played in Stephens' holding midfield role and was named the sponsor's man of the match.

Hughton said: "I think Davy has played their before and he was very good on the ball. I don't think it was an issue for him.

"Bissouma showed a lot of qualities that he has. He needs more games and I think he'll continue to develop with us.

"He's a younger player with really good ability. He's certainly was not phased by a late call-up as such."


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