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Joanna Grey

Chris "Sorry" Hughton

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This reads as though CH is almost sorry about having to upgrade the team for next season. Is he apologising to the players that will miss out?

"At least we can plan a pre-season now, it''s been tough not knowing what division we would be in. We want to develop and we have a very good side that has served us well this season. We won''t forget that, but if we are able to strengthen then we will. Anyone we bring in has to be the right player, but it is our responsibility to the fans to try to keep improving."

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No - that is pretty much what Lambert said last season minus the ''bringing players in to give the boys a hand'' stock response.

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I think he is saying sorry to the players that miss out, but he certainly doesn''t seem sorry to upgrade the team? it certainly reads that way to me.

To "develop" and "strengthen" means bringing in new players and they will inevitably take squad and starting places from our current lads. We all know this and so do they.

It''s nice that he says they "won''t forget that", and with Hughton''s reputation as a good guy I think it means that with players that do have to move on they will try to get them a good club ala Simon Lappin.

I think its a nice gesture and for me what he has said there sets the right tone, with players and supporters.

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To be fair I can''t see much of our starting team being that far out the picture, they''ll still be squad players at least. What will be different is the fact the bench will be a lot, lot stronger and we''ll be able to bring on players who are just as dangerous as those going off.

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I hope we don''t see too many outs tbh, obviously there''s the players that haven''t featured at all this season like Fox, Jackson etc, who should probably leave for the good of their careers, but I wouldn''t want to see wholesale changes to the decent squad we already have.What we need is an injection of 2 or 3 players with the quality to change a game out of nothing, rather than another complete team overhaul.

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Agree AJ.

RVW is already inbound and you would suspect thats Holt on the bench.

Probably a very good midfielder to replace Johnson (Harsh on him but still in the squad and rotated in), a left sided winger to upgrade on Pilks (again dropping to the bench), possibly stronger competition for Snodgrass (but I can still see him starting) and a younger quicker Wes (Again very much still a squad player).

There will of course be other players if available and price is right but in terms of our starting 11 (assuming we keep Ruddy, please god) I think the majority of those players will start next year with some new attacking additions. If you then have a bench of Holt, Hoolahan, Pilkington, Johnson, Bennett, Whittaker, Bunn to call on you''re not doing bad and certainly an improvement. Suspect that bench might be more exciting as well though!

I''m really excited about this transfer window, 11th placed team pushing for a top half finish next year looks pretty attractive to all but the best players as well. We don''t need to spread the cash around. Half a dozen max very good acquisitions will improve our squad massively and one big one is already on the way.

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[quote user="Joanna Grey"]This reads as though CH is almost sorry about having to upgrade the team for next season. Is he apologising to the players that will miss out?

"At least we can plan a pre-season now, it''s been tough not knowing what division we would be in. We want to develop and we have a very good side that has served us well this season. We won''t forget that, but if we are able to strengthen then we will. Anyone we bring in has to be the right player, but it is our responsibility to the fans to try to keep improving."[/quote]
I  think sometimes people put too much thought into all this. He won''t have planned a speech weeks in advance and thought through exactly what nuances and clues he wants to drop in. He''s just saying well done for this season, we''ve got players who are good enough for the prem, but we''ll always be looking to upgrade. Doesn''t read apologetic or anything else to me, just seems to be Hughton making a fairly obvious point in Hughton''s usual style.

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You''ve got to feel we''re in safe hands.

McNally protects the club in its best interests

Houghton protects the squad

We might be taking a careful approach, but look where it has got us so far - and look how many others, such as Pompy and Wolves, and fallen by short sightedness in their spending, finances and management.

We have a great chance to establish ourselves as a top half side next season, and we couldn''t be in better hands.

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