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THE HUGHTON VIEW

Posted on 15 August 2006  - 12:00

Chris Hughton gives his thoughts on another unbeaten pre-season period as the big kick-off at Bolton draws nearer.

Chris Hughton gives his thoughts on another unbeaten pre-season period as the big kick-off at Bolton draws nearer.

IT HAS been another positive pre-season for us. You judge it on the fitness levels you come out with, form, certainly avoiding injuries and trying to get into the habit of winning matches.

We felt last pre-season stood us in good stead - especially winning the Peace Cup - going into the Premiership and we managed to start well and that's important.

That doesn't just go for the first team, the Spurs XI side has also done well and played some tough games, all away from home, and their results have gone well also.

It's been good stuff all-round. It's always been about trying to get the right balance when you've players who have been at the World Cup in terms of bringing them back into the group and considering the break they've had, which is less than the others. You want to get it right and you just hope come the first games of the season you have got it right. We'll have some idea at Bolton on Saturday.

All the new lads have settled in well. We've had less time with Didier Zokora because he was on World Cup duty but when you bring in new players you can get great value from being able to bring them in on the first day of pre-season - we did that with Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Dimitar Berbatov and that meant we've been able to work with them from day one. That has only helped and they've both had good pre-seasons along with everyone else.

As per normal, we'll find out in the first few games of the season the teams who look more comfortable than others, the teams who perhaps get a little fortune and the teams who are quickest out of the traps. We just hope to be in that leading pack.