Hughton has tough selection decisions

Chris Hughton admits he'll have tough decisions to make when he names the team for tonight's FA Cup tie at Manchester United.

Saturday, 17th March 2018, 6:10 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 6:42 am
Jurgen Locadia. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Albion's boss has rotated the squad on their way to the quarter-finals but is set to name a strong side tonight as they bid to reach the semi-finals for just the second time in their history.

Hughton has a decision to make over whether Tim Krul, who has started all three FA Cup ties, or number one Mathew Ryan starts in goal. The decisions continue all over the park with Connor Goldson, Jurgen Locadia and Leonardo Ulloa among those hoping to be in the starting 11.

Hughton said: "For anybody to miss out in this game will be tough and they’re the obvious big decisions that I always have to make. It’s about trying to get that balance between the competition I’ve got in the squad and the type of game that it is.

"They are huge opposition and to give ourselves the best-possible chance, we’ll have to play very well.

"It’s a big task and United will be clear favourites. What we can get confidence from is that on our last visit to Old Trafford we played very well.

"We didn’t come away with a result, but we played very well.

"We all know that the biggest priority for this football club is to make sure we play in the Premier League next season. But when we arrive at Old Trafford, the only thing on our minds will be trying to get through to the next round."

Dale Stephens and Gaetan Bong have both been rated touch-and-go for the game and Hughton said: "It’s always a blow when players miss games, particularly players that have been constant members of the team.

"That’s what the squad is there for and why we want competition in the squad and generally we’ve been in good shape with regard to injuries. It’s part and parcel of the game and hopefully it will be the case that they’re available. If not, then it will be a case of using the competition in the squad."

Anthony Knockaert also misses the game through suspension, after his red card at Everton last week.