Hughton looking to bounce back quickly

Lewis Dunk is back available after suspension. Photograph: Angela Brinkhurst
Lewis Dunk is back available after suspension. Photograph: Angela Brinkhurst

Albion boss Chris Hughton wants his side to bounce back from their first league defeat of the season.

Albion boss Chris Hughton believes it is vitally important his side bounce back quickly, following their first Championship defeat of the season on Saturday.

Hughton saw his side slip to a 3-0 defeat to Middlesbrough in their top-of-the-table clash at the Amex. That ended Brighton’s 21-game unbeaten start and also saw them drop a place to third.

Albion return to action on Boxing Day when they make the trip to Brentford, for a 1pm kick-off. The Bees recently appointed Dean Smith as boss and Hughton feels it is important his men get their promotion push back on track.

He said: “I think it’s vastly important we come away from Brentford with something.

“We have set such a high standard so far this season but we knew it was always going to be difficult to keep that run going.

“So, this is the challenge that we face now going into the game on Saturday after suffering our first loss.

“It’s great testament to this group for going unbeaten as long as we did but these are the challenges and after Brentford, we will have another tough game, then the same after that.

“This is something we have experienced all season but so has every other club.

“Our ambition is to be challenging and the only way to do that is making sure you get enough good results, so it’s very important we bounce back.”

Centre-back Uwe Hünemeier will miss the trip to Brentford with a groin strain but fellow defender Lewis Dunk is back from a one-game ban.

The trip to Griffin Park will come too soon for Sam Baldock and Kazenga LuaLua, while Gaetan Bong is set to return late January and Liam Rosenior in late February.