Competition for places is bringing the best out of wide players - Hughton

Solly March celebrates his late equaliser at Millwall. Picture by Getty Images
Solly March celebrates his late equaliser at Millwall. Picture by Getty Images

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton believes the competition for places is bringing the best out of his wide players.

Anthony Knockaert, Solly March and Jurgen Locadia have all had an impact in recent weeks, while Alireza Jahanbakhsh is now back to full fitness and Jose Izquierdo has been back in the matchday squad recently after a knee injury.

Hughton admits the competition for wide places has brought out the best in some players and said: "That's what it has given us and we will need all of that.

"We are going into not only a big month of games but very difficult games as well so we will need that competition.

"That competition is not just about starting games. It's about changes too and we saw Solly March come off the bench at Millwall and have a big effect on the game.

"It's not just about starting, it's about making sure you have players who are up to speed and can change the outcome of the game."

Knockaert and Jahanbakhsh started the FA Cup tie at Millwall last time out but Hughton says March is pushing for a recall to the starting line-up after his performance off the bench.

He said: "He always gives me a decision to make, as do most of the players on a lot of occasions.

"What we also have is eight games in four weeks so I would imagine around that there's going to be a lot of players playing in those games.

"There's really good competition at the moment."

Izquierdo is also closing in on a return to the starting 11 and Hughton said: "At this moment we generally haven't felt we're at the level to start him but we've had a good couple of weeks with him.

"He's getting a lot closer now."


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