Millwall v Brighton: The key points from Chris Hughton's pre-match press conference

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton spoke to the press this afternoon ahead of Sunday's FA Cup quarter-final at Millwall. Here are the key points.

Friday, 15th March 2019, 2:56 pm
Updated Friday, 15th March 2019, 5:26 pm
Chris Hughton. Picture by PW Sporting Photography
Chris Hughton. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

What's the team news?

"Leon (Balogun) is fine, the two absentees will be Florin (Andone) and Pascal (Gross)."

Where does an FA Cup quarter-final rank as a match in your time at Brighton?

"By far the most important moments have been getting promotion into the Premier League. But in our calendar there are some big occasions and big dates.

"Once cup games come around, they're always big occasions and clubs of the level of ours are always going to find it difficult to get to the latter stages particularly with the quality of Premier League clubs and the squads they have.

"We have got to this stage and to have an opportunity as do Millwall to get to the semi-finals, it's right up there, certainly in my period of time here."

You watched Millwall in midweek. How impressed were you?

"They're a good side. They are playing at home, so I don't see this game as any easier than travelling away to Crystal Palace last week.

"The differences between the two teams is one division. It's the FA Cup and we know what the FA Cup means to everybody.

"I think it will be a very tough and difficult game.

"I thought they were good in midweek and they will be lifted by that result.

"They're a good and very competitive side and I expect to see all of that on Sunday."

Millwall have strong home form at The Den, so how tough will the match be?

"We will start the game as favourites because we are the Premier League team but the balances are they are playing at home and are on the back of beating Everton at home in a previous round.

"It shows what they are capable of doing and the levels they are capable of playing at.

"I certainly don't see this game as any easier than the very difficult away game we had at Palace. We will have to show the same type of mentality and quality that we showed at Crystal Palace."

Do you and the players know what to expect at Millwall?

"We'll know what to expect and it's about making sure we do that on the day.

"There won't be anybody around the team or the coaching staff who will underestimate a Millwall side playing at home in the environment they play in.

"For as much as we can talk about an opportunity to progress through to the semi-finals, they'll be talking exactly the same way.

"They'll want to go through every bit as much as what we want to."

Is there a sense this is a really big opportunity for the club?

"Any team that gets to this stage of the competition are always going to be dreaming and thinking about getting through to the next round.

"In this situation it is the semi-finals. That's the way you have to think.

"There's no point going into the game thinking it's a game you can't win or are not going to win. You've got to be confident in your own ability whatever the obstacles are of making sure you can go through.

"All of that excitement is normal, particularly from the supporters.

"For them it means an awful lot more than for anybody else, with what they've gone through.

"We're playing in an FA Cup this season where the opportunity (to go further) is open to a few clubs."

You've made a number of changes in previous rounds, will you keep doing that?

"Our biggest priority is making sure we are in the Premier League come next year.

"We are in a big stage of this competition for us. It's a competition we desperately want to go through in.

"That would have been the case at the start but the dynamics change a little bit once you start getting into these stages.

"We then go into an international break, so sometimes the circumstances and dynamics change a little bit. We will put a team out that will be a reflection of our intention of wanting to go through."

Bissouma is suspended after two bookings in the FA Cup. You have some players on a booking already, does that come into your thinking?

"You've got to think about the team you want to play and play that team.

"If you start thinking about possible yellow cards and so, then if you don't win the game that might not apply anyway.

"In none of my thinking have I thought about yellow cards. It's always been about playing the best team to win the football match."