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Brighton boss Hughton relying on Jason's nerves of Steele

Brighton boss Hughton relying on Jason's nerves of Steele
© Reuters
Steele is set to start in Saturday's FA Cup third-round tie at Bournemouth.

Brighton boss Chris Hughton is confident goalkeeper Jason Steele has what it takes to fill in for Maty Ryan.

With the Australian away at the Asia Cup, Steele is set to make his Brighton debut by starting Saturday's FA Cup third-round tie at Bournemouth.

Ryan, who played for the Socceroos at last year's World Cup, has impressed for the Seagulls this season.

However, the 26-year-old stopper could be away until early February should defending champions Australia progress towards the latter stages of the tournament in the United Arab Emirates.

David Button has made two Premier League appearances since Ryan departed following the draw with Arsenal on Boxing Day.

Hughton feels both men have shown the qualities needed to step in between the posts at any time.

"That's why when we brought both keepers in the summer, we wanted that level of competition in the goalkeeping group and both of them have done really well," the Brighton manager said.

"They have pushed Maty (Ryan) to the level where he is in this moment and certainly in the two (Premier League) games with David's (Button) appearances we have been delighted with him.

"Jason (Steele) was a close call because he is who will start on Saturday. He is one that's also pushed and pushed really hard."

Steele is ready to make the most of his opportunity, having moved from Sunderland last summer.

The former Middlesbrough keeper told Brighton's website: "It was an opportunity for Butts (David Button) and I to come here and develop again. Especially with my own circumstances, it was a chance to regain my confidence and belief in my ability again.

"We all want to play football – you want to be out there showcasing what you're trying to do every day in training.

"Obviously as a number two or number three, you don't really get that opportunity, but it's a team game and you're there for your team-mates. You try to be positive and encourage them."

Steele added: "The FA Cup is still a special, special competition, which I love playing in.

"We know how difficult it's going to be on Saturday, but it's a great chance to progress and I'm sure Bournemouth will be thinking the same thing.

"At the end of the day, whoever's playing for the respective teams is going to want to win."

Iran winger Alireza Jahanbakhsh is also away at the Asia Cup, and Brighton boss Hughton confirmed under-23s forward Viktor Gyokeres is among those likely to get an opportunity to impress.

"We know the levels we'll have to reach against the opposition, and our performance level last time against them a few weeks ago in the league was good," Hughton said at a press conference.

"It is another challenge, and we want to make sure that we are in the next round."


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Brighton manager Chris Hughton pictured on December 29, 2018
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