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

Brighton boss Chris Hughton spoke to the press this morning ahead of Saturday's FA Cup tie with West Brom.

Thursday, 24th January 2019, 11:17 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 6:49 pm
Chris Hughton. Picture by PW Sporting Photography
Chris Hughton. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

Hughton spoke about the January transfer window, the job Darren Moore has done at West Brom, Baggies striker Jay Rodriguez possibly coming up against Gaetan Bong after a charge of racially abusing Bong was 'not proven' last year and more.

Here are the key points from the press conference.

Seven points clear of the relegation zone, how do you approach this game?

"The same way we would at any stage of the season or whatever position we are in.

"We are delighted to still be in the cup after having such a tough draw away from home against a Premier League team who are doing very well.

"We want to remain in it. We will use the squad as we did away to Bournemouth.

"We are in a healthier position at the moment with regards the depth in the squad and some of the rotation we've had in the squad.

"There aren't too many players in the squad who haven't played games this season.

"We're in a better place and better equipped for a game we want to win."

How do you think West Brom will approach it?

"It's a difficult one to figure out or try to analyse what their priorities and thoughts are.

"The only thing we can do is prepare ourselves to play against the best West Brom side possible.

"Whatever team that is, they'll be motivated because its an FA Cup tie and against a Premier League team.

"The feel of West Brom at the moment is still almost very much Premier League. I know they lost some players in the summer but the large majority of the players they have were involved last season.

"It still has that Premier League feel about the team.

"They're pushing very hard in their division. As regards what team they will play, we have no idea but we will prepare ourselves for the best possible West Brom team."

Darren Moore at West Brom

"He's done a fabulous job. It's never easy and one thing he has been able to do from the period where he took over in the Premier League, they picked up some really good results.

"They didn't quite make it but on a lot of occasions when a club drops out of the Premier League, the feel around the club sometimes diminishes, which is normal because of a lack of confidence from perhaps not winning games.

"But I think there's been a good feel factor at the club since he's been in charge.

"In the end I don't think there were too many surprises when he got the job full-time. It's very difficult to bounce straight back up again but they've been very consistent.

"They have had two sides about them in Leeds and Norwich that have had periods where they have been very good.

"But West Brom have been in there and have done it the right way."

Jay Rodriguez potentially coming up against Gaetan Bong and Brighton

"There have been issues before and we are all very conscious of that but it is in the past.

"It was dealt with by The FA very well, all the processes around that one.

"We couldn't have had any complaints with the way it was dealt with.

"It's something that is in the past. It will be one of many incidents that are in the past that you have to move on from.

"I would expect everybody to feel the same."

How nice to create your own history and win a competition here?

"To win this competition is incredibly difficult and the facts say that. Generally it's going to be one of the top six teams who wins it.

"Our priority has to be to make the best progress we can.

"Our next opportunity is on Saturday. There isn't any club who wouldn't want to make progress in this competition but we know how difficult it is.

"First we have to to get past a very good West Brom team who are in good form and good momentum.

"But we are the same as anybody and would love a good cup run."

The Amex has had 99.5 per cent capacity this season and 26,000 tickets are sold for Saturday's game

"The Saturday attendance will be approaching a full house and that's testament to what the players have done and the performances they have put in.

"To attract the crowds we have, the team must be doing something right. It's not easy these days and money is harder so people have to work hard to be able to afford to come to football matches.

"What the club do really well is create a very good environment at the club, as regards the prices the club do the very best they can to get as many people into the stadium.

"It does make a difference, particularly in a league that is very difficult to get results at home and away from home.

"We have managed to have a very good home record and part of that is down to the support we have and the support they give the team."

Ryan and Jahanbakhsh reaching last eight of Asian Cup

"That's the good news and the bad news.

"These are normal emotions for a football manager and a club. Of course we would like both back as quick as possible but the emotional bit takes over as well and they are they are both really good professionals and have great pride playing for their countries. You want them to do the best they can for their countries as it won't just be about now, it will be about the future for them and playing as many international games as they can.

"We just hope they both come back in very good shape and we are able to pick up some points for them when they come back."

Deadline Day this time next week, it's been a quiet transfer window so far. Expect that to remain the case?

"You can never say no because you don't know anything that might happen. But my feeling is exactly the same, I don't think we will be bringing anybody in.

"We've had a couple of young players who have gone out on loan and Suttner of course has gone out on loan."

Could Schelotto go out on loan?

"Yes. We're working hard on that one, it's one that's agreeable with both parties.

"He's been very good and has been training very well but his opportunities have been limited this season.

"We're hopeful that something can happen.

"As regards anyone coming in, at this moment I don't see it."

Still monitoring things?

"You have to. You hope not but there could be an injury or something that happens which you don't expect to happen.

"That's why we have a recruitment department that continues to work as hard as possible all year round.

"But I don't anticipate anything."

Surprised it's been a quiet transfer window generally?

"Probably yes. Because of the nature of our game and the pressures on managers and teams to do well and stay in divisions.

"There's still a small period left and I would expect some business to get done but the realisation is January generally not a good time to buy.

"I know there have been some successes and I think there will continue to be some successes but the general feeling is January is not a good time to buy.

"It's not good for the structure generally and is not good for your planning. Hence maybe that's why it's become a quieter period than what people anticipated."