Hughton Happy With Progress So Far
Manager Chris Hughton has been giving his thoughts on Brighton's preparations for our Premier League journey this season.
With the players returning to training on Saturday for the initial testing phase of pre season training, that will continue on Sunday (today) as the medical science team assess each player and then build appropriate programmes for them to follow to get them into peak fitness over the next month and a bit and Hughton told the Official Site that he was relishing the challenge ahead.
'The first couple of days are a reflection of what they`ve done in the summer. What you find these days is that players generally come back in good shape, and certainly not too many are overweight or haven`t stuck to their programmes. Pre-seasons will never change. Essentially, it`s about getting their fitness right. We have a wonderful friendly game at the end against Atletico Madrid, which looks like it could be a sell-out. There won`t be too many sell-outs in friendlies a week before the season starts. That`s the buzz around the place, but the importance of pre-season is to make sure that we`re in the best possible shape come the Man City game.'
With Manchester City first up as we open our maiden Premier League adventure, Hughton obviously knew it would be an incredibly tough fixture to open with but ultimately this is the challenge we want as a club.
'This is what we`ve been aiming for. I can only speak during my time here, which is the last two seasons, but the club was pushing to achieve this in the two seasons before that too. When the Man City game was announced, you thought 'they don`t get any harder than that' and then what hit home was the excitement of that first game, particularly for the supporters. If you ever wanted an introduction into the Premier League, then there it is.'
Hughton of course was looking forward to pitting is wits against Pep Guardiola given his own managerial achievements across Europe.
'As a manager and a coach, you`re aspiring to be the best that you can - and that means applying your trade at the next level. We all know what the Premier League is now and the quality of players and managers in it. It`s a great feeling to be among that kind of company. We`re very aware of how tough it will be, because generally when you`re playing against these top-class managers, they`re managing top-class teams and have got top-class players. That makes things more difficult. They`re the wonderful challenges you have, and if you can`t look forward to those challenges, then you shouldn`t be here.'