Hughton prepared for testing period

Brighton boss Chris Hughton. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Brighton boss Chris Hughton. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Albion boss Chris Hughton says the club are prepared for a testing period when they play 11 Premier League matches in just 43 days.

The Seagulls sit eighth in the Premier League after 11 matches and are back in action on Monday when they host Stoke at the Amex.

With so many matches coming in a short period of time, Hughton said: “Going into the international break winning at Swansea was massive because we knew the schedule that was coming up over the next six weeks and into the Christmas period and New Year.

“There’ll be a period that will test us and give us an indication of where we are but we knew that was coming and we have to be prepared for it – whether that’s over the upcoming weeks or in the latter half of the season.”

Brighton won 1-0 at Swansea in their last outing and are unbeaten in four matches. Hughton wants his players to maintain the level they have been playing at and said: “We’re on a good run in recent weeks and the two away wins over West Ham and Swansea City respectively are brilliant because at this level victories on the road are hard to come by.

“We’re back on home soil on Monday evening and it seems a long time since the game a few weeks ago at the Liberty Stadium now.

“We hope that we’ve got the levels of the players right. We’re up against a good and resilient side on Monday so we’ll have to be at our best."

Hughton has no new injury worries following the international break, with Steve Sidwell (back) the only absentee. Beram Kayal and Sam Baldock's inclusion after injury will come down to squad selection.