Albion players rested ahead of Brentford clash

Albion boss Chris Hughton. Photograph: Paul Hazlewood
Albion boss Chris Hughton. Photograph: Paul Hazlewood

Albion boss Chris Hughton admits he is unsure what effect last week’s free weekend may have on his players.

Brighton go into Friday’s televised Championship clash with Brentford at the Amex on the back of two successive league wins.

Hughton’s side ended a seven-game winless league run with a 1-0 victory at Blackburn, before they beat Huddersfield 2-1 in the following match.

Albion were without a game on Saturday, after exiting the FA Cup at Hull, which means Friday’s game will be their first match for 13 days.

Hughton admits he is unsure whether it will have been a help or hindrance for his side and said: “You only know when you kick-off on Friday what effect it may have had. You can only do the work that you can in the time allowed.

“What it has done is allow us good rest and recovery for those that have played a lot. We have not been a team that has always rotated and we’ve had a core of players who have played a lot of games and minutes.

“I think it will have been a valuable break and it’s allowed us to work with the others but we won’t know until Friday night.”

Friday’s clash sees Brighton come up against a side sitting tenth in the Championship, with a well-respected manager in Dean Smith.

Smith, who left League One Walsall earlier this season, has impressed in his short time with the Bees and he is a man Hughton has a lot of respect for.

Hughton said: “I know him well and he is a well-respected manager. He has come up from lower leagues and is proving himself in the Championship.

“He coached at youth level and did incredibly at Walsall with a very low budget. He has a good group of players with a good philosophy. He fits perfectly with them.”

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