Chris Hughton backs his defenders to keep Mitrovic at bay

Hughton backs his central defensive partnership to keep Mitrovic at bay 

Brighton and Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton is well aware of the damage that Aleksandar Mitrovic can cause on Tuesday night when the Seagulls make the trip to Craven Cottage to face Fulham on Tuesday night.

The manager, however, has backed his central defensive partnership of Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy to keep the Serbian at bay, with Mitrovic finding the net in the 2-2 draw at the Amex Stadium in the reverse fixture earlier in the season.

He said, “I think he gives most centre-half pairings a difficult day. That’s the way he plays, he’s a very physical player and a very good player.

“He’s a big player for them and we know what his strengths are – if we felt he was a tough one in the home game, we have been warned and are prepared for it.

“It’s not just our two who’ll be tested, that’s the type of player he is, we’ve got a centre-half pairing used to playing against different types of strikers in this division and that’s just another test for them.”

Brighton played out a 0-0 draw with West Brom in the FA Cup on Saturday while Fulham were without a fixture but Hughton believes that his team can cope with the pressure on having to compete on multiple fronts.

They’ve had more time to prepare, but there has been a number of times where that’s happened, and it doesn’t work out as you expect.

“I changed players for the cup game at the weekend, but you never know – if you have a choice, of course, you’d like more time.

“Sometimes you have a really solid performance and then want to bounce straight into the next game.

“If you look at physical stats, like we do, then I can always remember the Championship year where we had a really busy period of games and were then producing our highest ratings towards the end of that sequence of matches.”

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