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Hughton looks ahead to Stoke

28 December 2020

Chris Hughton said it is a tough time of the season with plenty of things to juggle as his Nottingham Forest side prepare for their trip to Stoke City on Tuesday night.

In what is the final game of the calendar year, Hughton said it is difficult to prepare the team as fully as he would like with the short time in between games, as well as to make all the necessary preparations for the January transfer window.

He said: “It is hard because you are spending most of your time preparing for games, making sure you have the right knowledge about the opposition and watching games of the opposition. That does take up a lot of your time.

“Of course, it is organising the training which is also limited because of the amount of games, but the processes have to be there. You have to think about January, you also have to think about the summer because there has to be some planning ahead, but it is difficult.”

Hughton credited Stoke manager Michael O’Neill for the job he has done at Stoke since his appointment, turning the club around to be considered among the challengers this season.

“He has done a very good job,” he said. “What he has had at his disposal is good players, and at one stage quite a big squad and it has been his responsibility to navigate around it. It has not always been easy, particularly at a club that spent the amount of time in the Premier League that they did.

“He has steadied things and got them into a good, challenging position in the league and that says he has done a good job.”

As Forest head to the bet365 Stadium for their final match of 2020, Hughton reflected on what has been a challenging calendar year.

He said: “I won’t say it has been difficult, because what we are going through has not been as difficult as what many people are going through. I would say that in the number of years I have been involved in the game, this is the most different season and the most different year.

“Around that, there has been a lot of decisions that have had to be made to make it the best it can be, but it is not what we are used to or the game that we are used to.

“We work in this environment and we love what we do, but we know the game itself is not as enjoyable as what we are used to, mostly because of what we enjoy and that is the bond with supporters and allowing them to join in with everything that goes on at the club.”

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