MX23RW : Thursday, January 17 11:59:16

Brighton boss Hughton considers Pascal Gross inclusion against Leicester

Brighton boss Hughton considers Pascal Gross inclusion against Leicester
© Reuters
Gross has not featured since the start of September because of an ankle problem.

Fit-again German midfielder Pascal Gross has given Brighton manager Chris Hughton a tough selection decision when Premier League action resumes against Leicester.

Gross has not featured since the start of September because of an ankle problem.

Hughton, though, confirmed both Gross and Dutchman Davy Propper are back in contention for the visit of the Foxes.

With Brighton looking to stop a run of successive defeats, Hughton accepts he now has plenty of options should he want to freshen up the team.

"Pascal is a very fit lad – he's clear of the injury now and he's fit to start," Hughton said at a press conference reported by the club.

"He's ready to start against Leicester and that's a decision I have to make."

Hughton feels the squad have what it takes to continue to hold their own in the top flight, having delivered three straight Premier League wins during October.

"We have players that arrived in the summer who are new and establishing themselves," he said.

"We've got a competitive squad now and everyone's coming along well."

One player, though, who appears less than impressed by a perceived lack of opportunities is striker Jurgen Locadia.

During the international break, the 25-year-old told Dutch media of his concerns, indicating he could look for a January move to get more game time.

Hughton, though, played down any talk of a rift.

"I've spoken to Jurgen and I speak to Jurgen regularly. There's no doubts that the comments he made or what he thinks was taken out of proportion," the Brighton manager said, in a video clip broadcast by Sky Sports.

"That doesn't escape the fact that he would like to play more. I would expect every player that is not playing so much to think the exact same way.

"So I have no problem with his views that way. He's a very good individual, trains really well.

"But the most important thing is he is very motivated to play here."

Hughton, who ruled himself out of contention for the Republic of Ireland vacancy, added: "Any talk of players who are not playing that they are desperate to play games and so on, I would expect every player to say that."

Brighton remain without record signing Alireza Jahanbakhsh as he recovers from a hamstring problem.

Midfielder Dale Stephens starts a three-match suspension following his red card at Cardiff before the international break.


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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool22183150104057
2Manchester CityMan City22172359174253
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs22160646222448
4Chelsea22145340172347
5Arsenal22125546321441
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd22125544321241
7Watford229583232032
8Leicester CityLeicester229492625131
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham229493032-231
10Everton228683331230
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves228592328-529
12Bournemouth2283113142-1127
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2275102430-626
14Crystal Palace2264122028-822
15Burnley2263132343-2021
16Southampton2247112339-1619
17Cardiff CityCardiff2254131941-2219
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2246121631-1518
19Fulham2235142049-2914
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2225151337-2411

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