Hughton Feeling The Pressure

Hughton Feeling The Pressure

Chris Hughton admits Brighton will be under increased pressure this season after splashing more than £60million on new talent.

Albion brought in nine first-team players during the summer as they prepare for a second successive Premier League campaign.

Hughton’s spending spree includes the arrival of Iran winger Alireza Jahanbakhsh for a club record transfer fee of around £17m, and a reported £15m outlay on Mali midfielder Yves Bissouma.

The Seagulls finished seven points clear of safety in the top flight last campaign and Hughton accepts big-money buys bring added expectation.

“I think there becomes more pressure because you have improved the squad,” said Hughton, whose team begin the new campaign at Watford on Saturday.

“It’s the second season now in the Premier League.

“I think it’s normal, it comes with the territory. You have to accept that and certainly don’t shy away from it.

“And that’s not just me and the club – that’s the players too.

“Expectations of our players will become greater too and they have to rise to the challenge.”

In addition to the arrival of Eredivisie top scorer Jahanbakhsh from AZ Alkmaar and Bissouma from French club Lille, the club have invested significantly in Brazilian defender Bernardo and Romanian forward Florin Andone.

Goalkeepers David Button and Jason Steele and Nigeria centre-back Leon Balogun have also arrived at the Amex Stadium, while defenders Dan Burn and Martin Montoya were bought on deadline day.

Hughton believes clubs battling Premier League relegation are forced to spend heavily and praised the ambition of Albion chairman Tony Bloom.

“If I look at what the club has spent this summer, it’s very much a sign of the times,” added Hughton.

“Over the last two summers, we’ve probably broken our club transfer record seven times.

“The reason why clubs are doing it is because of a necessity and a desperation to stay in the Premier League.

“We certainly have a chairman who is invested heavily in this club. We’re thankful for that.”

While there are a number of new faces on the south coast, the Seagulls managed to keep hold of their star players.

Hughton revealed the club received plenty of enquiries but were unwilling to entertain offers.

“There’s been a lot of talk and interest,” he said.

“As far as I’m aware, we haven’t had that definite, big bid for our players and I think part of that is down to the fact that we have a chairman that wants to keep our players here and certainly wouldn’t allow any of our best assets to go cheaply.”

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