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HUGHTON HAPPY WITH WINNING START

Chris Hughton
Blues boss Chris Hughton

Blues boss Chris Hughton was generally happy with his side's display after seeing them come away from their first pre-season fixture of the summer against Cork City with a 1-0 win.

New boy Adam Rooney was on target for Blues after 30 minutes into the match at Turner's Cross.

"Coming away from the game with no injuries was the most important thing for us," said Hughton.

"We probably could have penetrated a little bit more in the final third.

"We had some good periods of possession but probably didn't threaten the goal as much as we would have liked, but it's our first game.

"We always knew we were going to make a few changes at half time, but the changes disrupted the flow a little bit.

"I think when that happens you need a goal to perhaps change it a little bit.

"But it was a nice opportunity for some of the young lads.

Nathan redmond
Nathan Redmond

"In particular I thought Nathan Redmond did very well.

"We have to remember he's only 17 years of age. He showed some good touches although the final bit let him down a little. But it's good experience for him.

"Akwasi (Asante) up front gave us 90 minutes. I would have liked to see him get into a position where he could have a few more one-v-ones, which is a particular strength of his."

Of the senior players Hughton was particularly pleased with the showing of Keith Fahey in the centre of midfield, as well goalscorer Rooney.

"I thought that Keith Fahey played very well and I gave him an opportunity to play in that central position in the second half and I think he capitalised on that one," said Hughton.

Keith fahey
Keith Fahey

"And Adam Rooney scored a typical poacher's goal.

"When the ball went into the box he was generally there.

"I think those are some of the characteristics he's shown over the last couple of years. I'm pleased for him because it's always nice to get off to a good start. I thought he looked sharp all the way through."

Blues now fly back to Birmingham tomorrow after what has been a very productive training camp at the Fota Island Hotel Resort on the outskirts of Cork, as Hughton acknowledges.

He added: "The week in Cork has been very good and I think possibly in hindsight I would have come a couple of days earlier.

"The facilities have been very good.

"We knew it would be a tough game today but the preparation leading up to it was excellent."

Pictures by Roy Smiljanic

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