Everton 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 Brighton's match at Everton on Saturday. Here's what Albion's boss said as his side target a fourth successive win.

Chris Hughton. Picture by PW Sporting Photography
Chris Hughton. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

Three wins in a row, each of them 1-0, is there something particularly pleasing to come out of matches that could go either way with the victories?

"Yes, of course. The most pleasing thing is on each of them occasions it was three points and we know how valuable three points can be in this division.

Sign up to our Brighton and Hove Albion FC newsletter

"To get three wins on the spin is unusual, it's hard enough to get back-to-back wins.

"We appreciate it. What the 1-0s do show is we have a resilience in the team and the squad. Particularly in the last couple of games where we've been under fair bits of pressure in both games, we've shown great spirit to make sure we don't concede.

"It is something we've spoken about. We went through a long period at the start of this season where we hadn't kept a clean sheet, so it's something we'd spoke about.

"I'm really delighted and at this moment, we're not playing as well as we could do and that shows a team that has shown a lot of resilience at this minute."

Does this run show you have learnt in your time in the Premier League? Have you moved on to another level this season?

"What we have done with the three wins is something we weren't able to do last season.

"As regards making progress, that's a show of making progress but we are very conscious of how difficult this division is.

"As quick as you can win two or three on the spin, you can lose two or three on the spin having played at the same level.

"We've got two very tough away games coming up and will need to show some of that resilience.

"But as regards learning and progress, yes I think that is a sign but we're very conscious of how tough this division is."

What's been the key to the clean sheets? Have you done something differently?

"No. What we have done is we've had to defend very well.

"What I don't want to do is take anything away from our offensive game. Our set-up has been the same in all three games, we try to win the game and we are a team who play with two out and out wingers and our number ten in recent games has been Solly March, who is very much an offensive player.

"It's not a defensive strategy but we've had to defend well, inparticular the last two games.

"It's about a good defensive display. I know our goalkeeper and two centre-halves would have got a lot of praise in those games and deserved it but I think it's mostly down to everything around them and defending well as a unit."

Glenn Murray has now scored 100 goals for Brighton and 40 per cent of the goals the club have scored in the Premier League. What value can you place on a striker who scores the important goals?

"The importance of somebody like Glenn is we're playing in a very difficult league. Every team wants their strikers to score goals.

"We've been fortunate and we've got good competition. We brought (Florin) Andone in at the start of the season and are looking for an opportunity for him to play. He's in good shape at the moment, the same as (Jurgen) Locadia.

"We have in Glenn somebody who has scored the goals we've needed him to score.

"For a club like ours, it's big to have that platform and a number nine that at this moment you can rely on.

"What we want to be doing is spreading those goals around the team, centre-halves scoring more from set-plays, the occasional goal from our midfield players and more from our wide players.

"In testament to Glenn, he's able to do what he does because of what he's prepared to put in. He's not just a number nine who scores goals, he's also a number nine who is prepared to work hard for the team."

What's the latest on Pascal Gross?

"He will miss Saturday. We are very confident of post international break but we wouldn't rule him out of the game at Cardiff, which is on Saturday week.

"He's close, he's not back in training yet but is doing good rehab and we expect him to train next week.

"He had a slight setback which is normal but it was very slight. It was more us taking precautions and making sure we will have him available in the short term and it doesn't take that little bit longer."

Everton away this weekend. Would you take another 1-0?

"Absolutely. They are a very good side, have an aggressive way of playing of the front foot and good offensive players that can hurt you.

"It will be a very tough game for us and it's what you would expect going to Everton. They're in good form at the moment, they were very good at Old Trafford and it will be a very tough game for us."

It didn't quite work out for Shane Duffy at Everton. Is Everton's loss Brighton's gain?

"Yes it is but it's normal.

"Each club I've been to and even my long period of time at Tottenham, there would have been players that came through who would have been released or might have played a few games and then gone on to another club and ended up having very good careers.

"It's normal, it happens, particularly in development ages.

"Shane, in the position he plays, is a very big lad and would have been developing. Thankfully for us, he's developed into a very good centre-half."

How much praise do you give your defence for the clean sheets?

"A lot of praise because it is something we spoke about.

"We went through a Championship season with a good record of clean sheets. We all know whether you're Brighton or Man City, that is the basis.

"If you're able to keep clean sheets, it gives you a great opportunity to win a game.

"We hadn't had any in the previous games and credit to them, with any aspect - if you're conceding a lot of goals from set-plays and want to make that right, you're looking for a reaction."The reaction we got from them has been a very good one."

Do you concentrate on your own game, rather than too much on the opposition?

"You have to respect the qualities of the opposition and in each department there's particular players our players have to be made aware of.

"If it's a particularly quick player, you would make full-backs aware of that and what their strengths are.

"Generally we concentrate on our own game and that's if we're at home or away. We don't tend to play so different.

"What the requirements we want from our wide players generally is exactly the same at home as it is away and you just hope you can have a good enough unit as a team to be able to cope with the strengths of the opposition and to impose your game on them when you can."

Will you look to work on offensive side of your game more?

"Even through this period and when people ask me in the Championship where we had a better record of clean sheets, we've always done more work in training offensively than defensively.

"Sometimes its about how you set up your team. We try to be compact and would certainly do far more offensive work in training than defensive."

What's the latest on Davy Propper?

"He'll miss Saturday's game but is close.

"I'd be very confident of both being available after the international break but Pascal possibly has more chance of the Cardiff game."