Belfast Telegraph

Gross is reaping the rewards of settling in early, insists Hughton

Brighton & Hove Albion 3 West Bromwich Albion 1

By Nick Purewal

Chris Hughton believes match-winner Pascal Gross has benefited from his early arrival at Brighton this summer.

The Seagulls swatted West Brom aside 3-1 at the Amex Stadium on Saturday with German midfielder Gross scoring twice and laying on the third.

Brighton's first top flight win since 1983 ended a goalless and winless three-match start to their Premier League campaign, with Tomer Hemed joining Gross on the scoresheet.

The club wasted no time this summer paying £3m for Gross from Ingolstadt, and Hughton believes his full pre-season on the south coast paid dividends.

Asked if Gross was a bargain signing, Hughton replied: "Well, that will only be determined at the end of the season.

"But we've benefited from having him here early and being here for that time. It's allowed us to work with him and for him to settle in.

"We're fortunate that he was one of our first summer buys.

"He's very knowledgeable about the game, about the English game, and he speaks very good English which has helped from day one.

"He's someone that wants to get better and is very serious about his football."

Gross squeezed home Brighton's opener just before the break and then rifled in his second immediately after the restart.

Then the 26-year-old laid on the third for Hemed as Brighton produced their first Premier League victory.

West Brom boss Tony Pulis believes his Baggies suffered for the strains and stresses of the international break. The visitors surrendered their unbeaten start to the new campaign with a below-par showing.

"We were only able to train together on Thursday, and it's difficult to get to that spot that you need to win Premier League games," said Pulis.

"You've got to be spot on to win, and sometimes that can make a difference."

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