Brighton & Hove Albion v Newcastle: What did Chris Hughton say in his pre-match press conference?
Chris Hughton spoke to the press this afternoon ahead of Brighton's Premier League game with Newcastle on Saturday. Here are the key points.
What's the team news?
"At this moment it's only Davy Propper who will miss the game. Apart from that everybody is available."
Will Anthony Knockaert come back into the starting 11?
"They are the decisions I always have to make with team selection. We know he is now available to the squad.
"The decision I have to make will be based around the team I feel is the best team to get a result but at least he is available which is a plus."
Is it tough trying to reinvent your message to the players every week during a run when you're not scoring goals?
"The way you always have to look at it is it's part and parcel of the game. It's the same when you're on a poor run of defeats, it's about turning that around.
"How do you turn that around? The only way is by hard work.
"We have found it difficult to get the goals we have needed to win games. That wouldn't be down to a lack of effort or a lack of offensive work on the training pitch.
"You go through these spells, that's part of the job I do.
"Every game and every minute you play is an opportunity to change that. Sometimes it can change through a bit of brilliance, sometimes it can change through a bit of luck or fortune but that's why we work as hard we do."
Do you feel the players have got enough mental toughness in the dressing room to ride this relegation battle out?
"Yes I do. Our situation maybe a little bit different. It's not a changing room or a feel we've had to experience all season.
"I wouldn't say it's crept up on us but we haven't experienced it for a lot of the season.
"At this stage you need motivated players and I think over the last two games away from home, maybe tactically a little bit different, we've had responses from the players.
"The feel and mood around the changing room is one of determination. I see that on the training pitch but we have to put that into practice."
Do you believe you learn more about your players in adversity?
"You learn about your players, I don't know if you learn more. We've been through a lot here. We're not a club that is used to being in this division like other clubs and the pressures that come with it of staying in the division.
"We've had some tough periods making sure we got into this division and we were always going to have tough periods.
"I know the players well enough, the majority have been here for a good period of time certainly through the Premier League period.
"You're learning with every game and every performance."
Saturday is an enormous fixture, have you done anything different in the build up?
"As regards changing a routine, sometimes that can happen when you have more preparation time.
"When the preparation time is as little as what it is, we are on the back of a good performance at Tottenham.
"We had a recovery day yesterday and training was minimal today for the ones that have played.
"We have to do what we have to do to get a result. Whether there will be anything different or anything said different is is very much for the ears of the players.
"The players accept and appreciate it's a big game for us, it's at home and it would do us a big favour if we win it."
Newcastle have been in impressive form and are playing with freedom. Does that worry you?
"I think they're a good side and they've played a system for a good period of the season and it suits the players they've got.
"They're in very good form. It will be no different to any team coming here who we have to do our homework on and try to look at our strengths and see any areas we can be positive in."
Brighton haven't scored for seven games. Are you creating enough chances in games?
"No. Anybody who has seen our last period of games will see we haven't had good enough chances. We've not scored enough goals and that is fact.
"In any game that can change and we'll work very hard for that to change.
"The last couple of games have been a little bit different. We were probably a bigger threat in the first half at Tottenham than the game at Wolves.
"We haven't created enough good chances or scored enough goals. That's the challenge and that can change from one game to the next.
"Our responsibility is that changes as quick as possible and our first opportunity for that to happen is against Newcastle."
Do you have to ask more of the attacking players?
"I have to ask more of the team. A lack of scoring goals is not always just down to individuals, it's about providing opportunities and playing in a way and a tempo which gives us opportunities to score and create chances."
Your situation is in your own hands Do you expect Brighton to stay in the Premier League?
"Yes. We need to go into every game, every moment, every training day as confident as we can but we knowing it's a challenge.
"Whenever you have that type of challenge you look for people around you and players to stand up to the challenge.
"In the last couple of games I don't think anybody could fault the endeavour of the team or the desperation to stay in the division."
What's your message to the fans?
"Considering we haven't had the best of times particularly at home, we've got a support that has been excellent and we need more of that.
"They have got behind us all season. We have two home games and the fact we are out there we have an opportunity to win and get points.
"We want them to be as they have been all season. They have been very supportive.
"This is a final push and it's also a final push for the supporters."
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