Chris Hughton offers his take on our pre-season campaign so far and looks ahead to Saturday's final preparation game against Porto at the Lane...
OUR PRE-SEASON HAS gone pretty well and, obviously, going to South Korea was a big part of it. Aside from the results, we had to get used to the climate and time difference, so it has made it an interesting and different pre-season for us.
Up to now it has been a good one and I think you evaluate it on a few factors. Results and fitness, but also whether you have steered clear of injuries. We've done quite well in these.
Part and parcel of pre-season is making decisions on players and formations you are going to play. Fitness levels very much come into all as well.
We have played some top sides over this period and Saturday's opponents Porto very much fit into that category. The fact that it is our last game before the real competition starts meant it was important to get a fixture of good quality which will provide a big test for us.
What we have been up against in most of our games - certainly the ones in Korea - is playing against different shapes and formations. It gave us the opportunity with the squad we have assembled, which is a good squad with many options in midfield, to try something different as opposed to a flat 4-4-2.
Porto are and have been a very good side for a good few years now and are a big name in world football. The reason we took this game so late in our pre-season is because it is against the quality of team we need.
Porto could well feature our former player Helder Postiga and there is no doubting his talent. I think, if he had had more time here, he might have been able to turn things around but in the modern game the pressure is on doing it straight away and that was something that maybe went against him.
The ideal with any young player is to see how they develop and give them time. The other side of that one is the need for points and performances. The season he was here was one where we needed the tried and trusted. Unfortunately for Helder, he possibly needed more time to adapt, but he is a very good player who we hopes enjoys success back at Porto.