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‘No worries’ pitching Leon Balogun vs. Salah and Co., says Brighton coach Hughton

14:02 EAT 24/08/2018
Leon Balogun
The Nigeria international left a good impression on his gaffer after his 70 minutes showing in their shock defeat of Manchester United last week

Brighton & Hove Albion coach Chris Hughton has stated that he has ‘no worries’ giving Leon Balogun his full English Premier League debut against Liverpool on Saturday.

According to Hughton, the defender, who arrived at the Amex Stadium outfit in the summer on a free, made a ‘very good impression from day one’.

Having expectedly sat out their season opener, the 30-year-old was handed his competitive bow in their 3-2 defeat of Manchester United, coming on as a 20th-minute substitute for an injured Lewis Dunk.

And, with Dunk yet to train this week, the ex-Mainz 05 centre-back is set to partner Shane Duffy from the start against the Reds’ fearsome attacking trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

Same as Balogun, the gaffer believes a huge test await the Seagulls at Anfield.

“He’s played at a high level and I have no worries or concerns on that one,” said Hughton.

“It’s always a big position and a big relationship your central defenders, particularly when you’re going to Anfield and you know you’re very much going to be tested.

“He has made a very good impression from day one. I think what helps is that he’s an experienced player.

“I think somebody like him coming into the game against Manchester United wouldn’t have been fazed by it at all and generally has taken it in his stride.

“What we have in Lewis Dunk is a player we rate very highly and has a great partnership with Shane Duffy that they have developed over the last couple of seasons.

“And what you would want is somebody to come in who you would feel assured in his ability and confidence of stepping in.”