Boss Hughton rings changes in win

The Football League Paper - - FA CUP THIRD ROUND - By Gra­ham Ot­way

IN HIS pro­gramme notes Brighton man­ager Chris Hughton did his best to jus­tify the whole­sale changes he made to his team for the FA Cup visit to the Amex Sta­dium of strug­gling League One out­fit MK Dons. He knew he was go­ing to raise more than just a few eye­brows when he side­lined all 11 play­ers who started the year with a 2-1 vic­tory at Ful­ham to strengthen the Seag­ulls’ Premier League pro­mo­tion hopes. Hughton ex­plained that de­ci­sion with the words that he was “giv­ing play­ers the op­por­tu­nity to chal­lenge for the next start­ing line up”. On pa­per it was a rea­son­able ex­plaina­tion, but it cre­ated the sus­pi­cion that the current Cham­pi­onship lead­ers had only one se­ri­ous priority and that did not in­volve any pur­suit of a place in this sea­son’s Emi­rates FA Cup fi­nal. How­ever, that re­mains a pos­si­bil­ity be­cause Hughton’s team of re­serves pulled off a two-goal win, al­though the score­line did not re­flect the large num­ber of chances that MK Dons cre­ated but failed to con­vert. And the chief cul­prit for that fail­ure

EYES ON THE PRIZE: Ed Up­son and Steve Sid­well battle for pos­ses­sion

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