Hughton's FA Cup Hopes
Manager Chris Hughton has now held his pre Coventry City press conference with Brighton hosting them this weekend.
Mark Robins' side make the trip to the Amex Stadium on Saturday for the fifth round tie, and clearly Hughton is looking for the win and progression through to the next round of the competition to lift spirits further.
Speaking to the Official Site as he met with the media, Hughton confirmed that we'd obviously done our homework on the side and he was keenly aware that nobody could be complacent on the day or take them lightly as they have already knocked Stoke City out of the competition this year.
'We`ve watched them and we know the progress they`ve made to get to this stage of the competition so far. They had a good win against Stoke City and you can`t take that lightly. We`ve all played in games with underdogs and we`ve got recent history ourselves - we know what can happen and we have to guard against that. This will mean a lot to them, as a club, they`ve had some difficult periods. It`s a club I know well - I`ve played and coached against them.'
Hughton had praise for opposite number Mark Robins given the job he's done at the Ricoh Arena since he walked through the door.
'Mark Robins has done a fantastic job there. It`s not easy when you`re at a club that have drifted down the leagues - you`ve got to assemble a squad that will get you back up. They have an opportunity to get promoted but it`s not easy at that level - I know Mark well and he`s done a wonderful job there so far.'
Having confirmed earlier in the week that club record signing Jurgen Locadia would debut given his return to training and fitness, Hughton was pressed on that and he explained.
'It`s good to have Jurgen back, he`s trained well over the last week and a half and he`s fully fit. The reason we brought him in was to help us between now and the end of the campaign, and so it will be good for him to get games under his belt and improve his fitness levels as well. I don`t think there`s pressure on him - the pressure is on the team to make sure we get enough results to stay in this division.'
He went on to say of our new signing and our captures in general this season.
'We brought players in during the summer who`ve fitted in well, some take longer than others, but we`ve got really good options in the forward areas and it`s up to me how I use those and get the best out of them. We just want him to settle in the squad and get goals for us - but he has to work hard for the team as well. He`s already scored goals this season and we hope that can continue here. He will start on Saturday, he`s been injured so he`s a player who now has a good opportunity to get back involved. He`s been fully cleared from that and this will raise his fitness level and integrate into the side in a game as opposed to training.'
Turning attentions to the FA Cup in general, clearly Hughton wasn't a man who dismissed the competition and his focus was on winning and progressing.
'The biggest incentive of the competition is to keep progressing in the tournament. We've been given a winnable home time - some may look at it as us being favourites and we`re very conscious that the competitions springs up surprises. We know Coventry City will fight very hard at the weekend but we`re delighted to still be in the competition and we want that to continue.'
There will of course be some rotation in the starting eleven again as the gaffer rests some, and gives minutes to others, but that's to be expected.
'It helps the squad, especially whenyou`re a player that`s training well every day and is not always getting the opportunities to play. Some will miss out and it`s been good for us to be able to use the squad - we`ve got good numbers and competition. The players who aren`t getting much Premier League action can keep their levels up and feel a big part of the group - and credit to them, because we`ve been good in the games so far.'