(Reuters) - Brighton and Hove Albion’s World Cup participants will return to the club over the next week and manager Chris Hughton is eager for them to rediscover their form and fitness ahead of the new Premier League campaign.
Goalkeeper Mathew Ryan and newly-signed defender Leon Balogun played for Australia and Nigeria respectively at the World Cup and exited the tournament at the group stages while Jose Izquierdo played for Colombia, who were ousted in the round of 16.
“The three players who went to the tournament are back this week – Leon comes back on Tuesday, Maty is back on Wednesday,” Hughton told the club’s website.
“Jose has an extended period of time because his country reached the knockout stages, so he will be back with the group next Monday.
“They’ll all come back in good shape but once the season starts you want them to be up to speed, so for us it’s about making sure that they will be.”
Brighton opened their pre-season with a 1-1 draw with Swiss side FC St. Gallen on Saturday and Hughton is backing his squad to develop further in their remaining four friendlies before they kick off their league campaign against Watford on Aug. 11.
Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty