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Hughton aims for stronger start

27 October 2020

Nottingham Forest manager Chris Hughton says he hopes to see his side produce a better first-half performance when they travel to Luton Town on Wednesday night.

Hughton's five points from his three games in charge have all come courtesy of second-half goals and the Forest boss wants to see his players start the match at Kenilworth Road on the front foot against a Luton side who are going well under the stewardship of Hughton's former colleague Nathan Jones.

Speaking ahead of the game, Hughton said: "I know Nathan very well from my time at Brighton. He was an excellent coach then and he has gone on to be an excellent manager having had two really good spells at Luton. Their start to the season has been no surprise to me because they finished last season very strongly and did very well to stay in the division.

"Nathan is a very young, bright manager who has got a very good future in the game. It is a unique environment at Kenilworth Road and it is a club and a stadium that I know very well having been to watch lots of games there over the years. What Luton have done over the years, as most clubs do, is use any advantage that they can get from their stadium.

"For us it is about turning around our first and second-half fortunes. We've finished strong in games which is good but starting games better is one area that we need to address. We need to continue to make sure that we're in every game to give ourselves the best possible chance of securing a positive result."

Many people have debated whether Forest's results this season would have been different had supporters been inside the stadium but Hughton doesn't believe the 'behind closed doors' factor is having a huge effect on the outcome of matches.

He said: "It is very difficult to fully explain but it may have some bearing on the results. My experiences so far have taught me that for those 93 or 94 minutes you're on the football pitch, concentrating solely on the game in front of you, then it is almost the same as normal. Whether that is exactly the same for every player I don't know, it may differ for some.

"I don't think the impact is dramatic because once that game starts, I think everybody is focused on doing the best they can to not concede goals and score as many as they can. I think the things that have changed in particular are the things that surround a football club.

"Arriving at the stadium where it would usually be full of supporters, it does feel very empty nowadays and you can't hear that noise from the changing room as you normally would. So I would say it is the accompanying parts of a matchday that feel different as opposed to what is actually on the football pitch."

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