Brighton's World Cup trio to return in the coming week

Jose Izquierdo. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Jose Izquierdo. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Albion's stars who played in this summer's World Cup are set to return to the club in the next week.

Goalkeeper Mathew Ryan was in the Australia squad, Leon Balogun represented Nigeria and Jose Izquierdo was part of the Colombia squad.

Balogun, who joined the Seagulls from Mainz this summer, will link up with his new team-mates tomorrow, while Ryan returns to training on Wednesday.

Izquierdo will be back next Monday as Colombia reached the knockout stages of the tournament.

Speaking after Albion's 1-1 draw at St Gallen in their opening pre-season friendly on Saturday, Brighton boss Chris Hughton said: “They’ll all come back in good shape but once the season starts you want them to be up to speed, so for us it’s about making sure that they will be.

“Some teams in our league have already played one or two matches, our thinking is to get a level of fitness up and then play matches whilst trying to not pick up any injuries.

“I’m happy with where we are, and we also have players coming back too, which will be good for the group, so I’m very pleased.”

Shane Duffy, Florin Andone and Jason Steele all missed the draw in Switzerland, which came at the end of a week-long training camp in Austria, and Hughton said: “They’re all minor injuries but that’s just an unfortunate part of the game – Shane felt his towards the end of last season and he’s been doing a lot of work and he’ll most likely be involved in the next game.

“Then we’ll make a decision on Florin and Jason in the coming days.

“Florin has been doing some good running work and for us it’s about whether we leave it another week or get him into games.”