Pascal Gross is still absent for Brighton’s Premier League visit of West Ham on Friday night, but Dale Stephens could feature.
Influential attacking midfielder, Gross, will miss his fourth league match in succession as he continues his recovery from ankle ligament damage, while Stephens missed last week’s 2-0 defeat to Manchester City due to the hamstring injury he sustained in the previous clash with Tottenham.
However, boss Chris Hughton, who has no other injury or suspension issues to deal with, has revealed that the 29-year-old midfielder could make his return to action when the Hammers visit the Amex Stadium.
Meanwhile, Hughton claims West Ham’s recent upturn in fortunes has not surprised him following their poor start to the campaign.
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The Hammers lost their opening four matches under new boss Manuel Pellegrini, but have since picked up 3-1 wins at Everton and at home against Manchester United respectively with a draw against Chelsea sandwiched in between.
As a result, he has warned his Brighton players that they will have to play at their best to pick up the three points.
Hughton said: “They didn’t start the season too well, but with what they brought in, it was only a matter of time until they turned that around.
“They’re in very good form at the moment and I’d imagine they’re playing very close to how the manager has always wanted to play.
“It seems to be a habit that teams hit good form just before coming to the Amex, that’s certainly what West Ham have done and that’s probably no surprise.
“But we know what we’re capable of when we’re at our best or close to our best, and we know what we have to do to get results against any team.
“We’ll have to get back to that type of level, and certainly use the fact that we’re back at home.”