Newcastle United v Brighton & Hove Albion: What did Chris Hughton say in his pre-match press conference?

Chris Hughton spoke to the press this afternoon ahead of Albion's trip to Newcastle in the Premier League on Saturday.

Thursday, 18th October 2018, 5:31 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th October 2018, 5:35 pm
Chris Hughton. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

Here are the key points from the press conference.

What's the team news?

"Davy Propper will miss the game. He sustained an ankle injury in the last game and will be out for a period of weeks. How long it will be, at the moment we'll just assess it.

"We've got some late decision to make. Pascal (Gross) is just back training, Dale (Stephens) has been out and Gaetan Bong (knee injury) was away on international duty but didn't play.

"They're the three who we will make late decisions on. Apart from that, everybody's fit."

Newcastle will view Saturday as a good chance to get three points, do you view it as a chance to end bad away form?

"Looking at the game logically and who would be favourites, they are at home.

"In our eight games we've played four of the top six and I think they've played five. This will be a little bit of a relief and release for them that they're not playing a team in that top six.

"Similar to us, we've had some very tough games. This is a very tough away game for us and our away form is one that we know is a challenge for us to do better as regards picking up points.

"We have to look at it that way but they will look at it very similar that they are playing a team that's not in the top six and it's a good opportunity for them to win a game."

What are the problems away from home?

"It's actually not that difficult. We are a lesser team playing in this division.

"We got promotion the season before last and last season was our first in the division. This is our second season and it's tougher away from home.

"Every game we play is a difficult game and the large majority of teams we play have perhaps more experience in this division, are bigger teams than what we are, have invested more heavily than what we have. It's just the levels and you know you have to play well enough away from home to get something.

"Probably our level of performance hasn't been so bad, certainly at Liverpool we were good and very good in the second half at Southampton.

"The one we really let us down in was the Watford game.

"We've got more momentum but I don't put it down to anything more than it's just the levels of playing in this division and there wouldn't be a team of our level that would probably have a better percentage of winning away from home than they do at home.

"That's all I would put it down to."

How pleased were you with Lewis Dunk's England call-up?

"Really delighted for him, for this football club and for the managers and coaches before me that have seen more of his progress.

I've seen him close to four years now but there were other coaches around who have seen his development even more so. I think he has been knocking on the door for a while now, he's in a position where they have good options and players that have excelled, so for him to be part of that group is great praise for Lewis and how he's conducted himself over these last couple of years and how he's wanted to learn.

"Watching on from the bench for the last game, which was a wonderful game to watch, he would have been looking at the levels and knowing that's the levels you've got to be at week in, week out, to get there.

"It was really good for him."

Is the team more resilient this year?

"I think we're a little more knowledgeable about the league and, probably not in a bad way, a little bit more confident about the league.

"We recruited well in the summer, we've got good competition with players coming back but resilience is over a period of time and we've certainly showed that in a couple of games.

"Even in our last game at home, we were up against a really good West Ham team that asked a lot of questions. It was great to keep that first clean sheet and we needed it.

"That would have drummed home to the players that if you are able to do it, you're capable of winning any game.

"We have to get back to a few more clean sheets. That's probably been our strength.

"But what we've added to the squad has also given us better offensive options."

Is it a big opportunity to end the away hoo-doo on Saturday?

"It doesn't matter who we play, I always see it as an opportunity to get points.

"It's always difficult when you're playing against the top six or away to Man City or Liverpool as we were but you go into them games thinking you can get something.

"You know you'll need a lot of things to go your way.

"It will be no different at Newcastle. We're up against a team that are not playing a team in the top six and that will be a relief for them and they'll look it very much as an opportunity to get points and we've got to be guarded because of that."

Is there an extra edge going back to Newcastle?

"No. I've been back a few times now. I always look forward to going back. No doubt it's one of the best stadiums and atmospheres in the Premier League.

"It's always nice if you come away with a result but it's good to go back."

Newcastle have two points so far, what have you made of their start?

"There will be teams that will say they should have had more points and their level of performance is good.

"What you have to take into consideration with Newcastle is they have played five of the top six in their first eight games.

"What you also have to take into account is where Newcastle were last season. They had difficult spells last season and ended up finishing tenth position.

"I don't think there will be any panic there, they have a good enough squad and a good enough manager to change the situation.

"I think that's how they would look at it."