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Posted on 28 March 2007  - 12:00

Chris Hughton feels the players and Club will reap the rewards of playing so many games this season.

Chris Hughton feels the players and Club will reap the rewards of playing so many games this season.

Sunday's televised clash against Reading in the Premiership marks the 50th game of a season where we've reached the semi-finals of the Carling Cup, the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and now prepare for a UEFA Cup quarter-final against Sevilla.

The breakdown so far is 30 league games and 19 in cup competitions and we will play a minimum of 59 games this season - and hopefully three more in the UEFA Cup!

When we face Reading at the Lane it will represent the first time we've played 50 games in a season since 1998-99 and that minimum total of 59 will be the most in a campaign since 1991-92.

"We've gone out to top teams in the domestic cups and to compete in all competitions is incredibly difficult," reasoned Chris at Spurs Lodge. "Generally it's been the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal who have done that and that's what we're trying to achieve.

"Certainly, by playing more and more games, it will stand us in good stead for the coming seasons."

Chris is well-placed to comment on how both players and management cope with such a busy schedule - he was, after all, a key member of the 1981-82 team that played 65 games and he regularly topped the 50-mark in those glory, glory years of the early to mid-1980s.

"When you are winning games, you look forward to the next one," said Chris. "That was certainly the case when I played and back then, because we were in all the competitions, everything just took care of itself.

"As a player, you want to be part of every game and nothing has changed.

"Martin has to make tough decisions in terms of what team to select. Do you make changes to freshen players up or do you go with the same team and players that might have done well in the last game?

"For instance, we play Sevilla on Thursday week and then two days later, Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in a 12.45pm kick-off. Those are the dilemmas we have to face.

"So first and foremost, it's about team selection and for the players, it's working around fatigue and generally a lack of preparation time and it's not always easy.

"Any coach or manager will tell you that the best preparation going into a game is when you have the players for a period of time and you area able to work with them all week on strengths and weaknesses and patterns of play. That is all beneficial.

"There is no point complaining about it though, that's how it is and we have to deal with the situation."