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

Chris Hughton spoke to the press this morning ahead of Brighton's match with Arsenal on Boxing Day. Here are the key points from his pre-match press conference.

Monday, 24th December 2018, 9:38 am
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 10:49 am
Chris Hughton. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

Arsenal on Boxing Day

"It's a great game for us, this club have fought for very many years to get to the stage where we are.

"We enjoyed our first season in the Premier League last season, the dynamics change a little bit of course that second season and hopefully going on to more seasons but these are always the type of games that home supporters look forward to.

"We're fortunate to have a home game, where we could be away as others are. And I suppose for Arsenal supporters the travelling distance is not too far.

"It's a good game for us but it's one we'll only enjoy if we put on a level of performance which allows us to get something."

Win over Arsenal at the Amex last season

"What we have to do is draw from any good experiences we can. It was a very good experience for us in our first season.

"Generally we've been good at home. You know you have to raise the ante as such when you're playing against the big six teams because of the quality they've got.

"We're on the back of a defeat against a very good Chelsea team and if there's any indication of the levels you have to get to, we've very recently had to feel that."

No Lewis Dunk

"It's very frustrating because at the time we weren't too sure because of the distance away and you presume the referee has got it right.

"We saw a little bit of Lewis's reaction afterwards and when we spoke to him and saw it again, it became clear that it was Bissouma if anybody was going to get a yellow card.

"It's very frustrating. Can or should they change the laws? Probably mid-season is not the time to talk about it but it's certainly very frustrating from our point of view because we'll miss a player who has been very good for us."

One defender out, one back

"With one negative, you like to think there's a positive and Shane (Duffy) is back from suspension for the game.

"What we've lost on one hand, we've gained with Shane coming back but Lewis has been a mainstay for us, not only this season but in previous seasons, and he will certainly be a miss.

"But we do have a competitive squad.

"Shane was out for a few games and we had to readjust. We missed Dale Stephens for a few games and it's about using the squad the best way you can."

Training schedule over the festive period

"We're training right through the games. That's one thing about the Christmas period, you want them to see their families but some won't.

"We've got a lot of foreign players that won't see their families and that is part of the game. It's the sacrifices that players have to make.

"We have a busy Christmas schedule. While that remains the same, then it will be business as normal.

"At some stage if that changes, their working days will possibly change but apart from that it's business as normal."

Run of games coming up

"For us, the best way to think is we've got a series of difficult games coming up and the best way for us to think is we can get points.

"You have to go into every game believing you can get something from the game.

"The fixture list won't ever move, every game for us is still going to be a very difficult game. But at this moment we have managed to get a certain amount of points and that doesn't mean we can't continue that.

"But we know it's very difficult and we'll have to play well enough to be able to do that."

Players leaving in January?

"We have a chairman that has worked long and hard to build this club up to where we are now.

"The way he wants to work is to try to bring in as good a quality as we can and for them to perform well for Brighton.

"Do I see anybody leaving this club? No I don't.

"More so, we want to try to continue developing."

Players coming in?

"We will work as hard as we can to think about any areas that we might want to strengthen.

"But probably it will be a very quiet one for us.

"What we have the benefit of is players that have come to this club either in the summer or last January that perhaps for whatever reason have taken that little bit longer to settle in or get into the side.

"We're still in the position of having players that have come in who are still developing and we've seen some of them play in the team in recent weeks.

"Any work we do in January will be very minimal, if anything.

"Possibly some of the under-23s that have done really well this season will go out on loan. It will probably be more that than players coming in."